Even Then

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Hello, readers. I hope you all have been doing well. I feel like it’s time for me to give a life update to any of you who still follow me. If you’ve read my blogs often, you’ve probably heard me mention anxiety and depression. Today I just want to talk a little bit about my continued journey with that and what’s up in life.

So back in March I moved out-of-state, away from my family. I felt like I had been in a particular season of struggle, loneliness, and lack of community for a long, long time, and God was now calling me out of it.

It all really started when I went to the Cross conference back in January of 2019. I started seriously praying about moving. I backed out, in a decision made in fear. But about seven months later, the idea of moving was put on my heart again. I pretty much made up my mind to go. But the time wasn’t quite right yet. So I waited. Another seven, prayer-filled months ensued…filled with days of deep faith, and also days of deep fear and depression. Some days I felt like I could hardly keep my head above the “water”. I kept going back to 1 Peter 5:6-11, which had long been on my heart. I even memorized it. Amidst the struggle, God provided beautifully right where I was at – no outward circumstances changed. But I truly believed that He was calling me out of those circumstances slowly but surely, and into a time of healing where He would more firmly establish His purposes for me.

1 Peter 5:6-11

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

So, my tentative plan was to move spring 2020. But as spring drew near, my anxiety grew. I desperately needed a new car. I had no job lined up in my place of destination. I wasn’t 100% comfortable about a living situation. And I didn’t want to make this trip alone – I’m a nervous driver. How was I going to do this?? Was I really ready for this? Was I running away? What if my depression overcame me in a new place away from my family and comfort of familiarity?

I even had a woman tell me that she thought I shouldn’t move and God was telling her all these things about my life contradictory to what I was thinking. In that moment, though, as I prayed through fear, I felt a boldness rise up in my spirit. As if God through His Holy Spirit was prompting me: Tell her what God has been telling you. How He’s been confirming this move through prayer, your godly counselors, Scripture, and sermons. Don’t be tossed about by every wind and wave that comes your way. Be steadfast. Don’t doubt the Lord’s work in your life. Don’t doubt what He’s been growing a pleasing faith for in you.

So I did. And I kept praying. And committing this to God. And seeking godly counsel. And I surrendered this into my Father’s hands. “Make it happen, Lord.”

Within a couple weeks of really surrendering, a cousin offered to drive me and haul all my belongings. My living situation was established. And I had peace and hope that God was going to provide all that I needed – including a car and job. (Matthew 6:25-34)

I was officially moving March 17th. It felt good to have a set date.

A day before I was supposed to get on the road, all the covid-19 stuff started really blowing up. That night people were literally whispering about a national lock-down. I had my few minutes of freaking out. But there was no turning back now. Did I believe God has opened up the doors for this? Yes! I was going to do this! No more wavering and weakness. I was taking the leap of faith in obedience and leaving the rest in God’s hands. So be it.

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

So I moved. Shortly thereafter, social distancing and shelter-in-place happened. But God provided so abundantly even through these strange times.

And by the end of March, I had a car! April 6th, I started a job at a grocery store! Wow! It was so stunning to see God do above and beyond what I expected. Demolish my fears. Grow my faith. He is my provider.

An even bigger blessing is the way He has gifted me with incredibly sweet and deep friendships, and kind, wise spiritual mentors. Rich, faith community in a way that I’ve never experienced it before. I got a taste of it at the Cross conference. And now I’m here in the midst of it. I marvel at the group of godly young people the Lord has established here and I nearly weep at the thought of how He in His Fatherly love has settled me among them.

John 15:7-8

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

God answers prayers, indeed. I’ve talked often on this blog about how important I believe a tight-knit, sound, loving church and authentic fellowship is. How deeply I long for friends who grow my affection for Christ. How much I need spiritual leadership. I’ve shared how I’ve been petitioning God for such things in my life. So let this be a testimony to you, my dear readers. God answered. I am overwhelmed by what He has poured into my life.

Matthew 7:7-11

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I have recently been able to actually meet for church on Sundays and I already feel at home. This small, solid, loving, Christ-exalting church is what I have prayed for. The pastor is such a spiritual leader/mentor for me already. And again, I can only marvel at God’s goodness and faithful hand in my life.

Oh, how He loves His children.

I don’t believe I have ever felt so loved, belonging, sheltered, and cared for. This is faith community. This is fellowship. This is doing life together. This is encouraging each other in the Lord. This is making much of His name together. Already I have such an affection for my church family.

It does my soul good to recount this journey of faith and ponder my God’s grace toward me. To remember all the prayers He’s answered in such a short time and where He’s brought me!

Luke 12:32

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

In many ways, I’ve moved out of my season of struggle and into a time of being enfolded into a dear flock of brothers and sisters in Christ.

But in other ways, I struggle on. This is life.

Depression and anxiety come for me periodically, without fail. Almost always they linger in the dark, back corners of my heart and mind. And some weeks, even here amidst a dear church family, I feel near hopeless and my thoughts scream for me to escape myself. For days, I try to get away from the dark cloud, but it lingers and heavily oppresses.

Today I am perhaps coming out of one such week. Glimpsing the light! I spent all afternoon at a park, walking and talking with God. And yesterday evening I was out on the water, kayaking, which seems to be very good for my soul.

The darkness that plagues me is every bit as black even after moving. As I knew it would be. But still, it makes a tremendous impact on me when my pastor pulls me aside Sunday morning after church and listens to my heart and prays over me. And when several others express care and concern and also pray.

See, life is full of troubles. But to have a community of believers to walk alongside you and bear your burdens with you brings deeper hope.

We are His, and Christ is ours forevermore.

So I fight on through depression/anxiety. And I pray for victory. And I know I already have victory. I will not be overcome, because of Christ. I claim the joy that is mine because I am His. The joy of the LORD is my strength.

I do not – can not – give up because of the Holy Spirit within me and the eternal joy and goodness that awaits me. Christ is mine and I am His. And nothing can change that, no matter how numb and “feeling-less” I feel. No matter how the darkness and questioning press. Now matter how the hopelessness and panic squeeze my soul.

I cling to Truth.

And I lift my hands and worship God for Him. And praise Him for putting me here and giving me these people.

This week I’ve been blessed to have trusted friends who listen to me talk and process and agonize and talk some more over this thing I face. They empathize, and pray, and turn my gaze to my precious Jesus. I’ve been blessed to be out on the water – it is soothing and still. I’ve been blessed to go alone to a park and spend hours talking aloud to God – pouring out my heart, reading Scripture, quoting memorized passages, doing devotions, writing,  calling my mom and sister, and practicing disc-golf.

In the midst of depression, I often feel like I’m never going to find my way out. I know that’s not true – I always do come out. But yet it always comes back. I get so sick of it. I become panicky at the thought of fighting one wave after another for the rest of my life.

In the darkness I oftentimes feel like a really bad Christian. A failure. Spiritually immature. I wonder if I’ve been doing something wrong and this is God turning His back. I fear I am too much of a burden for people.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

And yet God brings me through again and again and I find my joy again. And I see His work in my life. And I see the purposes He has for me. And I feel His face shine upon me. And my heart is filled with passion and love, and I rest in His embrace. He is my desire.

I still pray for victory over this … healing. But in the meantime, may my Lord’s power be on display in the face of my extreme weakness. May the dark days increase my dependence on Him. May the numb mornings make me long ever more for the day when I will be more alive than I have ever been – when He returns. Then I will be made whole. I will know and be fully known. I will feel perfect love and love perfectly. There will be no more questioning or tears or darkness. I will be truly united with the Lover of my soul.

May you grow in this hope with me.

❤ Lady Grace

Psalm 34:1-5

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing

Book Review: Secrets of the Happy Soul by Katie Orr

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Secrets of the Happy Soul: Experiencing the Deep Delight You Were Made For by Katie Orr

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars

This is such a deep and beautiful book! Friends, I highly recommend Secrets of the Happy Soul by Katie Orr. It is well worth the read, the ending even leaving me in tears. So good.

When I first saw the simple, pretty cover and read the title of this book I thought it might be kind of a fluffy read, if you know what I mean. People are always trying to give us a number of steps and things to do and attitudes to adopt to make us happy … but their advice often ends up being shallow and short-reaching. Not so with Secrets of the Happy Soul. Katie Orr truly seems to understand what a happy soul is. She constantly points to Christ and the focus is on living a life centered on Him. “The Happy Soul is attached to God’s Word.” “The Happy Soul is dependent on God’s provision.” “The Happy Soul is surrendered to her King.”

The Happy Soul presents her doubts and questions to God, then sermonizes her soul toward the truth of His character. ~ Secrets of the Happy Soul by Katie Orr

This is the advice we need. Solid, Biblical advice that urges us to keep our eyes fixed on our Lord Jesus. Katie Orr is a pastor’s wife and she goes pretty deep with theology, and the Greek meaning of words, and different things. I get the feeling that she really studies her Bible and seeks God. She doesn’t just have a surface level relationship with God. This is beautiful and I feel like it gives her the credibility to write a book like Secrets of the Happy Soul.

… consider the views you hold: your actions and speech, the way you spend your time and money, what you believe about parenting, marriage, and sexuality. … Examine the conversations you hear and the teachings you have received through the lens of what the Bible says. ~ Secrets of the Happy Soul by Katie Orr

It’s not all shallow, self-focused, fluffy, and feel-good, but it is richly moving and deeply good. We’re reminded that we’re here for the glory of the King of Kings. And that we are happy souls, and how to claim that truth.

The key to realizing “success” in the Christian life is not in trying harder. Intimacy with God is found as we believe better. As our view of God grows, our actions naturally follow suit. Our desires change. ~ Secrets of the Happy Soul by Katie Orr

This book shares a lot of Scripture. It also has “soul searching” sections, questions, and prayers at the end of each chapter. It doesn’t gloss over the hard things. It digs deep. Katie Orr writes in an engaging, authentic way and keeps the reader interested. I did a lot of underlining, and like I said, teared up at the end of the book. Such a perfect book to read during confusing, dark times of struggle.

We need to be steeped in a continual communion with Him, because we can never be truly sweet on our own. We need the presence of God to permeate every part of us. ~ Secrets of the Happy Soul by Katie Orr

As always, I like to remind my readers that books are written by imperfect humans! They’re not going to be one-hundred amazing and accurate. But I think it’s wonderful and important to read books (testimonies, in a way) from our brothers and sisters in Christ and learn from them, and grow, and glorify God! I believe that Katie Orr is a mature, humble sister in Christ, and Secrets of the Happy Soul a truly helpful and Biblically-based read.

I received a complimentary copy of Secrets of the Happy Soul from Bethany House Publishers. This review is honest and completely my own.

Peace, My Child

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Good evening, my dear readers. It’s been awhile. I wonder how you all are doing … ? This is a strange time we’re going through right now. Indeed, when I envisioned 2020 I certainly did not picture a pandemic and America just slowly shutting down. It can be a little scary, and overwhelming, and frustrating, and depressing if you ponder on it, so I wanted to take time today to help us refocus our minds.

  • Love.
  • Truth.
  • Rest.
  • Joy.
  • Patience.
  • Hope.
  • Peace.
  • Purpose.
  • Courage.

We all talk about fixing our eyes on Jesus, but are we really doing that? Are we remembering to cast all our cares on Him and rejoice? Are we recalling that the joy of the Lord is our strength? Are we internalizing the truth that God is our provider and protector? Are we finding rest for our souls in Him?

1 Peter 5:6-10

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devourResist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

We preach a whole lot about these things, but what does the world see while it watches us react to covid-19? (And life stuff in general).

I was listening to a sermon called Releasing Anxiety by Ben Stuart (great guy) this morning and I was really struck and convicted by something he said. “The world is not impressed when we sing about the Prince of Peace, yet are living lives of stress.”

So what are we telling the world through our emotions and reactions and actions? Are we exuding the fruits of the Spirit:

love

joy

peace

patience

kindness

goodness

gentleness

faithfulness

self control

Read those – no, really read them – and think about how they’re manifesting themselves in your life. Are they?

Galatians 5:22-25

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

We go around calling ourselves Christians … Christ-followers … Christ’s ambassadors here on earth … God’s children … and then we turn around and start freaking out about everything we can possibly find to freak out about. (Oh boy, am I preaching to myself right now.)

We’re afraid of coronavirus. We’re afraid of government control. We’re afraid of the economy collapsing. We’re afraid of persecution. We’re afraid of the end times. We’re afraid of being alone. We’re afraid of losing jobs or not having enough money. We’re afraid of losing loved ones. We fear death, disease, loneliness, change in plans, and the unknown.

We’re afraid.

And we go running around in a panicked frenzy trying to act like we can fix this if we try hard enough. We research and study to try to feel like we’re in control. We rail against certain people and come up with conspiracy theories and scare other people.

There is a serious disconnect in what we say and how we live.

If we as Christians believe what we say then we should conclude that there is nothing to fear but the wrath of God. And, in Christ, we are free from the wrath of God!

No fear should overtake us!

Psalm 56:3-11

Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?

You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.
10 In God (I will praise His word),
In the Lord (I will praise His word),
11 In God I have put my trust;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

I know, I know, I know … it’s hard. It’s difficult to digest this truth. And I think some of us have it harder than others – we’re just so naturally prone toward anxiety and depression.

Friends, I know. This is all coming from a girl who has struggled with anxiety and depression for years. It’s a normal part of my day. I wrestled through it this very morning.

And you know what? I don’t think the answer to being fearless and happy is trying harder.

Rather, I think the answer comes through uncovering and rejecting lies from Satan that we believe.

Through intentionally resting in God’s presence.

Through bravely confessing our faults, fears, and sin to God and other believers.

Through boldly proclaiming truth over ourselves even when we are drowning in deep, dark fear or feel nothing at all.

Through consistently soaking in Scripture.

Through praying fervently and honestly – laying our hearts bare before the Lord.

John 8:31-32

If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Read the Word. Read it! And meditate on it. Do you believe it’s true? Like gut-level believe? You’re assured in your heart and convinced in your mind? Do you believe God’s promise that as you are anxious for nothing, and let your requests be known to Him, and worship, He WILL guard your heart and mind with peace that passes understanding? Do you believe that? Or do you carelessly recite this well-known passage and then go on worrying all the day long as you did before?

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Godand the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

And think about this. How often do you confess your deep, dark fears to God? How often do you confess your deep, dark fears to your brothers and sisters in Christ? How often do you confess your sin to God? To other believers? There is something radically, unimaginably freeing about confession. About speaking those nasty, dark things that linger always in the back of our minds.

Secret sin. Secret fears. Secret struggles. They isolate us. And that is perhaps the most fearful thing of all. To feel isolated from people – most particularly our family in Christ. And even worse, to feel isolated from God.

Sometimes my thoughts are so dark and troubled that I come to the verge of panic, the brink of despair. But when I speak those supposedly unmentionable things aloud to God and cry out for His mercy, suddenly a light shines onto my trembling heart.

I realize that I am not alone and irredeemable. It is only what Satan wanted me to believe. God is, indeed, here. Only when I feed anxiety and hopelessness and fear and despair I block His presence.

As a human I struggle with all sorts of outrageous and deceptive and terrible feelings. Sometimes I feel nothing at all. I struggle with sin and distorted desires.

But at the same time, as God’s child I am held securely within His hand. And nothing can snatch me from it. Not my terrible fears and feelings and despair. Nothing. He already knows what I’m feeling. And thinking. He already knows my struggles. And I don’t think He turns away from my weakness. Instead He invites me to cast it all on Him and let Him fill me with His strength.

John 10:27-30

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.

Indeed, I am a mess and sometimes feel I am a hopeless case. But with God, all things are possible.

So confess to God daily. Every time a new fear or anxiety pops into your head, immediately, intentionally reveal it to God. He already knows. But maybe you need to really, really know that He knows! Oftentimes we are unconsciously believing that He does not know … we certainly act like it! So tell Him. Confess it. Out with it.

And confess to your brothers and sisters in Christ. Just speaking those fears that have such a deep hold on you out loud can be a such a magnificent release! Like the sun busting through gloomy clouds, you realize that you are not the only one. And you realize you have an army around you ready to fight for you. The rest of the Body of Christ!

Proverbs 12:25

25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.

If you are deeply struggling, I encourage you to ask people to pray with and over you. Get counsel from a godly pastor. Find a spiritual mentor and meet with them often (over zoom during this time, perhaps!) Be raw and honest about what you’re dealing with. And pray for a heart of humility. And that the Spirit would be at work within you. And listen. And let yourself be comforted. And rebuked. And encouraged. And sharpened. And lifted. And spurred on toward Christ.

Seek rest in Christ. Don’t miss what God is trying to tell the Church during this pandemic! Don’t let fear crowd out His voice. Come to Jesus for He is gentle and He will teach you and you will find rest for your soul.

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Lastly I want to give a few practical tips to embracing rest and ingesting truth. First, be sure to be reading the Bible daily. Maybe while you eat breakfast each morning. You could rotate reading a chapter from the New Testament (why not start in Matthew?) and then Psalms every other day.

Pray daily! I pray aloud on my 20-minute drive to work each day. It is such a beautiful part of my day. Even though I tend to feel numb and disillusioned in the morning, praying aloud in the car really works for me. I find myself earnestly pouring my heart out to God and trusting His provision and guidance for the day. My heart is calmed.

Carve some time into each day to read. Maybe for a half hour before bedtime or something. Studies show that reading reduces stress and helps you sleep better. So maybe this is when you do your Bible reading. But if possible, I encourage you to add some good, Christian novels and Christian nonfiction into your life! I’m currently enjoying The Secrets of the Happy Soul by Katie Orr, Pure Pleasure by Gary Thomas, and The Bride of Stone by Thomas Williams.

Do your best to make time for rest and stillness on the Sabbath. Read your Bible. Pray. Fellowship with close friends and family. Color in an adult coloring book. Go for a walk. Soak in the sunshine.

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Unplug from social media for awhile. Give yourself a break from Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, the news, or all of them. Sometimes there’s just too much negative news and scary headlines and tragic happenings and temptation to feel discontent.

Go out amidst nature often! Glory in God’s creation. What beauty! What magnificence! Oh that we would stop a moment and soak it all in. He is such a masterful designer. Also, getting exercise out in the fresh air is a good way to lift your heart.

Seek out good conversations. Talk deeply. Share your heart. Be vulnerable. Laugh. Share what God’s doing in your life. If you’re like me, sometimes a nice, long talk is just what the soul needs.

Worship in the waiting. Stirring music. Amazing lyrics. Songs can be so powerful so I encourage you to listen and worship more! Worship when you’re happy. Worship when you’re sad. Worship when you’re waiting. Worship when your prayers are answered. Worship when you rejoice. Worship when you grieve. Worship when you’re fearful. Worship when you’re confused. Worship when you’re numb. Here is my worship playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLV7fB-3In6dqLodOhgVD-ISlBKkNqApC

So there are some thoughts and ideas! Until next time!

❤ Lady Grace

Luke 12:6-7 & 22-32

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Thoughts on Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I felt inspired to share what’s been on my heart lately. It’s a lot. I’ll try to get it all out coherently and hopefully not ramble on forever.

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I’m a single woman in her twenties this Valentine’s Day.

And I am so thankful!

Yes, I still want to be married. Very much so.

But I see no reason to be depressed and unhappy as a single person – not on Valentine’s Day, not on any day. See, God Himself carefully and beautifully formed me in my mother’s womb some twenty-three years ago. He knew me and all of my days before He formed me. He knows my heart. My visions. My passions. My hope. My pain. He knows my sorrow. And He’s here. He’s listening.

Many days I have felt unhappy and depressed. The longings for marriage and companionship and motherhood so intense … and I cried out to God with my aching heart and questions. And I realize He listened. He’s listening. All this time, He’s known and heard my longings and my wonderings and He’s been here. I have not been alone.

It’s like with Job (though Job’s pain and distress was on a much, much larger scale, of course). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the Bible says Job did not sin in crying out, in venting, in pouring out all the hurt and confusion. But you might ask, why then did God never answer the question why? What is the point of the story of Job anyway? Well here’s what I think it is:

  • God shows us that we are not alone. Sometimes the scariest thing about tragedy or pain is the fear that I might suffer alone. In this book, God shows Job he is not alone. The God of the universe, who set all things into motion, cares enough for one, seemingly insignificant human being amidst millions and billions of other human beings, to answer Job in his pain. Not only is God listening, but He cares enough to answer Job. To show Job HE IS HERE.
  • God’s ways are so much different than ours. So much bigger and more amazing than we could ever imagine. God shows us that we can’t understand His work. The work He is doing. But we can trust Him because He cares. And He is mighty. And He is at work.

I’m not accusing you if you are feeling depressed or lonely or unhappy this Valentine’s Day. In fact, I understand. I’ve been there. Some days it seems silly to be unhappy just because a day is dedicated to romance … other days the pain is real. And God knows your heart. So pour out those feelings. But then, like Job, come out of the confusion and sorrow. Come out!

Isaiah 43:19-21

19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
20 The beast of the field will honor Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I give waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My chosen.
21 This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.

See, I know God is listening to my prayers. I know He cares about me. I know He is taking care of me. I know He is working in my life – working out my future.

What’s more, I glimpse His majesty and holiness and grace and mercy! His tender love.

I am an unmarried woman this Valentine’s Day and I am so blessed! The fact is, God has already given me way more than I deserve! He has rescued my soul from darkness and brought me into His incredible light. I am saved. Sometimes our minds can’t grasp the magnitude of that. But I am one of billions of people and the ancient God who is outside of time – beginning and end – pursued me. Me. Little old insignificant me who really has nothing to bring to the table.

Hosea 2:14-15

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

Not only that, but He keeps pursuing me every day. I see evidence of it in my life. I see the way He used anxiety and loneliness to push me to seek Him. I see the way that has urged me to cry out to Him while in depression instead of giving into the lies of Satan. I see the way He’s sustained me through dark mornings and fearful nights, and brought me out of that.

I see the way He’s used singleness to grow me closer to my siblings and friends. I see the way He’s put purpose and mission and ideas into my isolated life. I see the way He’s placed people in my path to reach out to. I see the way He prompts friends to send life-giving words when I need them the most, and uses random people to encourage my heart when I feel disillusioned. I see the people He’s woven into my life at just the right moments. I look back and see the way He’s orchestrated the details of my life…

And I’m profoundly thankful.

And I realize that He will continue to orchestrate the details of my life. I’m by no means of the though process that I could have planned my life better than God. I see clearly – for today, at least – how foolish that is.

Yes, I’ve wanted to get married for as long as I can remember. I tenderly cared for my baby dolls and I distinctly remember telling my mom around four or five-years-old that I wanted to get married. I had my first crush when I was thirteen, and the pages of my diary testify that I hoped and somewhat believed I would grow up and marry him.

I wrote my first letter to my future husband at age fourteen or fifteen. I remember talking to my friends, quite seriously, about marriage and motherhood and faith and other deep issues at fifteen. I didn’t think I was ready for it, yet I did. I was made for marriage and homemaking! My mom, aunts, and friends married in their late teens (not all, but many) and embraced homemaking and motherhood. I wanted to do the same. I had a vision for marriage and writing and serving Jesus.

At age eighteen, I felt distressed on Valentine’s Day because I was really, truly old enough for dating but had no prospects in sight.

Since then, my desire for marriage has only increased. I want to be a wife, a helpmeet, a companion, a friend. I want to be a mommy. I want to be a homemaker.

When people talk about

  • loving, helping, and supporting their husband as he does his God-given kingdom work
  • making their house a warm, welcoming place
  • raising my own children to know the love of God and serve Him
  • proclaiming Jesus’ love by the way they nurture people (husband, children, brothers & sisters in Christ, lonely singles, hurting young women, etc.)
  • a home atmosphere that shines a light
  • having girls or moms over for coffee
  • having people over for dinner regularly in their home
  • homemaking for the glory of Christ
  • hosting and hospitality

my heart nearly bursts with passion! I have such a vision for this. This is what I want to do with my life. This is what I long to do with a strong companion, my husband, for all the days of my life here on earth. This is the kingdom work I want to do for God’s glory and for the reaching of people and for the sake of love.

And the more I pray about it, read Christian books on it, listen to sermons, and talk to godly friends, the more I feel like God placed these desires and visions in my heart.

So why am I not married, you might ask? Why am I not joyfully serving and caring for people by a good man’s side?

Doesn’t it seem like that would be more profitable in the kingdom of God, in my life, in other’s lives than me just trying to find things to do while my vision is unfulfilled? I’m grappling with this intense longing to have a husband and children. I’m struggling with different life issues and concerns that might not be there if I were married. I’m working at a job that I have no real passion for. I’m trying to reach out and help, mentor, and serve people … but oftentimes it seems like my plans fall through or fall flat.

So the temptation is to be depressed and unhappy. And ask why. Why, God, am I not married yet? I feel like you’ve given me a desire to be a wife and a vision for homemaking, yet there are no godly men pursing me. I feel like I’m not doing very important things right now. Like I’m wasting my life – my gifts, talents, passion, and vision. Like I’m trying to do kingdom work and glorify You but nothing is really falling into place. I feel unsettled!

But if I say I believe God is who He says He is, then there is no room to linger in this questioning. If I say I believe God is listening, and He cares about and for me, and He gives me vision and desires, and He is at work in my life – in all our lives – for His glory and our good, then I also must believe that:

I am right where He wants me to be.

Here. Unmarried. Struggling through different issues. Working with so many little kids I feel like I can’t invest in any of them. Blogging about things I worry might offend fellow Christians and heart thoughts I don’t know if anybody cares about.

This. He’s at work in this. The hard, the mundane, the uncertain, the painful, the unfulfilled longings, the unsettled, the seemingly pointless.

God is at work in my life. He is working in and through me. He has a plan for my life. A glorious plan to make much of His name and bring me and others closer to Him.

And this is a supremely joyful and peace-filled truth!

Yes, I want to be married! But also, yes, I am thankful that I am single right now. Because that’s where God has me.

I know He sees my heart and He knows the plans He has for me. If He wants to fulfill the vision I feel He’s given me for wifehood, motherhood, and homemaking, then He will.

Do I keep praying? Yes, I keep praying. Pray. Pray. Pray. I tell God about my desires and visions and hopes and dreams. I ask Him to fulfill this vision in my life if it is of Him. I ask Him to root out lies and search my heart and remove the offensive ways and lead me closer to Him. I rebuke the Enemy in Jesus’ name. I resist the temptation to sink into hopelessness and despair and depression and desperation.

God is good all the time.

Sometimes I think we do stall God’s plans for our lives by becoming bitter and distrustful. By listening to Satan’s whispers and following all sorts of paths winding in the wrong direction. By no longer trusting our Father with our heart and seeking His face in sweet trust and surrender.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

Do you see what I’m trying to say?

Be filled with hope and vision, and pray about and for what you think God is calling you to in life.

But if you feel called to be married yet are single right now, that doesn’t mean that your life is on hold or God is not paying attention.

There is so much to do in life! And if big things feel overwhelming or impossible, start by focusing on the little things. There are so many people who just need you to reach out to them. To stop and listen. To invite them over for supper. To care about them.

Maybe the years keep slipping by and marriage isn’t happening in your life … ask God to give you another vision! This doesn’t mean your vision for marriage will remain unfulfilled. But maybe you’ve been so focused on marriage you’ve gotten tunnel vision in a world filled with needs.

What about orphans and widows? What about sex trafficking? What about millions of babies being killed through abortion? What about sexual abuse within local churches and families? What about starving children in Africa? What about unreached people groups? What about Christians blinded by false doctrine?

What if God is calling you to stand up and fight back concerning one of these issues? He can bring you into the overwhelming and the impossible and do incredible things through your life!

Sometimes we need to shake things up in our lives. Make some changes. Take a leap of faith – big or small. We have to get out of the rut. We have to embrace SURRENDER and HOPE and FAITH and more than we could even IMAGINE or ASK FOR.

Ephesians 3:20

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I’m still praying about and for marriage and the chance to serve and thrive within wifehood, motherhood, and homemaking.

I’m also just praying, with great hope and joy, for God to use my life in His kingdom work.

I’ve decided to move out of my parent’s home. Out of state. To shake things up a little and take a step into the unknown. I’m twenty-three and I’ve been living at home for basically my whole life. Planning to move out when I get married…

Well, it’s time for a change.

Time for friends in my season of life who I can journey alongside as we all follow after Jesus. Time for a strong, passionate, Christ-like community around me. Time for a new beginning. Time to leave behind some of the weights that so easily entangle me. Time for new challenges that will grow and stretch me – body, mind, and spirit. Time for a new perspective.

This Valentine’s Day, I count myself wondrously blessed! I have no reason to complain. I have a Father God who is involved in every detail of my life. There is much hope.

Grow in grace, dear readers. ❤

1 Peter 5:6-11

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devourResist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

“Church Experience”

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Do you go to church? If so, what does it mean to you? What does the “church experience” do for you, as a Christ-follower?

// For more of my thoughts on church, read my previous post on this subject: Church a Light? //

I grew up going to big churches. Sometimes even mega churches. Baptist. Evangelical Free. Pentecostal. Non-denominational. Some were smaller, but not many.

So, today, the type of church experience that feels comfortable and normal to me is a big building hosting a worship team and probably about three services. It’s the type of church where you might get a handshake, but never an invitation to supper. The type of church where you can easily slip in Sunday morning while the music is playing loudly. And then join the crowd surging out after the service concludes. No one really makes eye contact. It’s the type of church where you get a really amazing message from the pastor, but then you go home and most likely forget about it – proceed with normal life because no one is keeping you accountable.

I’m not trying to bash churches. I’m just being honest. This is my “church experience”. Rarely, if ever, have I walked into a church building feeling at home. Seeing my fellow attenders as family. People I do life with.

But isn’t that what church is supposed to be? A time of fellowship with your family in Christ? We – those who are the Lord’s – are the Church. The Bride of Christ. But we have made church buildings a place to slip in and out of – merely warm the pews on a Sunday morning. Never getting to know the Church. The people who fill that building.

Truly, I don’t think church attendance is just some religious practice required of Christians. We actually need it.

Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

In order to be flourishing in Christ, we need to be regularly meeting together with our dearly-loved brothers and sisters in Christ.

What did you say? The people who go to your church aren’t your dearly-beloveds? Well, it seems that they should be according to the Scripture.

They need you. You need them.

Remember Elijah? He asked God to let him die. He was discouraged and thought there were no other believers in the Lord left.

Elijah 19:4-10

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”

Sometimes I feel perhaps a fraction of that. Oh, so isolated. Floundering. Wanting more of Jesus, but struggling not to drown under the waves of difficult life stuff and alone-ness.

Trying to do life alone is hard. I would be so bold to say that we were absolutely not meant to do life alone.

James 5:14, 16, & 19-20

14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

God is three in one. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have each other.

And yes, we have the Holy Spirit living inside. But sometimes this life leaves us feeling disillusioned. And the Enemy’s whispers are so loud; his attacks so vicious. We cry out, I can’t do this, Lord. There is no one who understands. No one who speaks Your truth.

The Church is supposed to be there to help you. Come alongside you. Encourage you. Comfort you. Sustain you. Speak truth over you. Rebuke you. Worship with you. Break bread with you. Rejoice with you. Mourn with you. Help you find and use your God-given talents and gifts. Serve with you. Spread the gospel with you. Learn with you. Teach you. Be taught by you. Laugh with you. Hope with you.

Psalm 133:1

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Acts 1:14

14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

We seriously wound ourselves when we are not deeply rooted in a local church body. Sometimes we suffer deeply and alone. Sometimes we become entangled in sin. Sometimes we just become stagnant. Stop growing. And have no one to point out to us what is happening.

Truly, it is God who calls and the Holy Spirit who convicts and comforts. And He can do those things without people. But, He also gave us brothers and sisters, and His Word exhorts us to meet together with them and love them fervently.

Acts 2:46-47

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

1 Peter 5:1-5

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility,

So while God may allow us a time of loneliness and isolation to some extent and purpose, I don’t believe He means for us to stay there.

We were created for companionship. Community. Love. And we the Believers are meant to live and be so close that we become a Body, working together for the sake of the gospel. For the glory of God. For the good of each other. For the reaching of the lost.

Romans 12:4-13

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one anotherHaving then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

So, the big, fancy buildings. The concert-like “worship” services – smoke and lights and more listening than actually singing. The affirmation from pastors that they will only send you a note, they will not show up at your house

Is this what church is really all about?

Or is it more about filling a place with passionate Christ-followers who meet because they have so much love filling their hearts – for their God! For His people! And then they become friends and teammates with their local, fellow believers! Isn’t it more about getting in each other’s spaces and lives for the sake of God’s kingdom?

We act like church is about listening to a sermon on Sunday morning.

But I think it’s more about listening to a sermon together. Worshiping our King together. Breaking bread together. Exalting Christ together. Pressing on together. Having fellowship with one another. Looking forward unto His return together. Making a difference together. Talking and laughing and sharing and exhorting and rebuking and teaching and comforting and encouraging. It’s about having spiritual leadership and being discipled. And making disciples!

  • I think having a loving, Scripture-grounded shepherd over the local flock of believers is important.
  • I think it’s important that you have a relationship with your pastor so you can go to him when in distress or you have a question.
  • I think godly, close fellowship is important.
  • I think genuinely worshiping with one another is important.
  • I think having your church members over for supper is important.
  • I think it’s important to have a sound-doctrine, Christ-centered place to equip believers to then go out into the community and share the Good News.
  • I think it’s important to be sharing praises, prayer requests, miracles, struggles, and answered prayers with your local, fellow believers.
  • I think being mentored is important.
  • I think feeling like you belong and this is your family and there are safe, godly people you can seek advice from in your church is important.
  • I think looking for people to mentor within your church is important.
  • I think it’s important to be together at least once a week!

But in order for these things to occur, you need to know and be known within your church building. You need to really, truly be part of the Church.

Acts 2:42

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Look at this verse from the book of Acts! Biblical doctrine, fellowship, eating together, and prayer were regular parts of these early believer’s lives!

I strongly encourage you to really read and meditate on the Scriptures I included in this post. And look up more verses from the Word of God on church, community, fellowship, and the Body of Christ!

I think we’ve gotten church somewhat wrong in this civilized, advanced day and age. I think we’ve lost sight of the core purpose of church …

This is what I believe:

Church is about being there for each other and igniting each other’s passion for our Lord Jesus.

Onward to Heaven! ❤

 

So Much More

Hello, dear readers. I might not know you. I might not be aware of the struggles you deal with and the trials in your life. But here’s what I do know … a whole lot of people are searching for purpose that they just can’t seem to grasp a hold of.

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I want to both challenge and encourage you today. Your life could be so much more than what it is – than what you’ve decided you’ll just have to accept. God beautifully made you for so much more. For your good, and their good. And all of this magnifies His glorious name. And it is good. It is life-changing.

Perhaps you’re like: “What is she even going on about?”

Purpose.

I’m talking about purpose. Listen, the world’s idea of success isn’t going to cut it. That great career. That nice house. That swoony guy. More stuff. More degrees. More Instagram likes and Facebook friends. A flawless body. The perfect wardrobe. Another exciting vacation. The coveted applause and idolized fame.

Do you know how many people who have “had it all” and found themselves as desperate as ever for more?

Think Marilyn Monroe. Most beautiful or sexiest woman, or whatever she was voted. She had the body all the women envied. She had the beauty. The guys. The fame. The money. The career. The dream. And yet, as I understand it, she ended her own life.

So if all of that can’t satisfy, fix, or fulfill us after all, what can?

What’s the more that we need?

Simple answer: Marilyn Monroe needed purpose. Identity. And lasting purpose and identity is found in Christ.

We need Jesus Christ. Not just for our eternal salvation, but for our everyday salvation.

Our Creator said that the enemy comes to “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”. But that He has come so that we may have life more abundantly!

So …

1) You need your Creator. The one who created you in the first place. Without Jesus, you really have nothing. Give it some thought.

Colossians 1:16-18

All things were created through Him and for Him17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

If you are a Christian, you need 2) to be actively pursuing the One whom you call Lord, and who He uniquely designed you to be.

So stop running headlong after all the world has to offer. Their definition of success and happiness hasn’t proven itself. Stop and ask God what He wants for you.

Colossians 3:17

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

What gifts and talents has He given you? What passions and interests has He knitted into your heart? What doors is He opening for you to serve Him and mankind?

I think we can agree that the world can be a dark place. We are needing you to push back against that darkness. God has a specific role He is calling you to fill. A unique purpose. He has places and people and jobs that are perfect for you.

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The question is, are you going to embrace your Lord and join in the kingdom work He gives His children, or are you going to follow yourself and remain as empty as ever?

Even if you are a Christian, living for yourself instead of God is going to only help spread the devastating darkness and hurt more people than you ever help.

1 Corinthians 3:1-4

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in ChristI fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?

As I enter the sanctuary of my church, or sit in a Sunday school or Bible study class, or as I see all my friends posting Bible verses and selfies, I sometimes wonder … How many of us self-proclaimed Christ-followers are actually following Christ and doing what He calls us to? Collectively and individually? And what would it look like – our churches, friend groups, homes, communities – if we did? What would the impact be? How much brokenness that we see now could be healed if we were actually doing what we are created for … living with purpose. Living for God.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

I wonder, how many Christian boys and men aren’t stepping up and doing what God has put on their heart because of a secret struggle with pornography? How many girls and women are cowering in their own little bubble of life because of insecurity? And vice-versa.

Why have we, beloved children of God, let sin entangle us and lies define us so much so that we simply warm a seat on Sundays, quote a Bible verse every so often, and talk about our “past” like it’s not actually who we still are on the inside?

Brothers and sisters, Christ came to pave the way for not just change, but radical change! Not just life, but abundant life!

Are you really content with your life story reading: work, sleep, eat, 45-min. sermon on Sundays, and Netflix? Maybe an evening at the bar. Maybe some sensual music with lyrics that make your mind stray to places that you know dishonor God. Maybe a summer fling with that hot guy or girl. Maybe some movies with questionable content. Maybe many, many moments spent complaining, gossiping, saying hurtful things, and aimlessly scrolling on social media.

But it’s not like it’s that bad! You’re a good Christian and you won’t do the stuff you fill your eyes, ears, and mind with continually.

Maybe not. But neither will you do the things that you could have, should have, would have if you’d been pursuing the Christ you claim instead of the world.

Hebrews 5:12-14

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is,those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

At the end of your life … minutes away from meeting Jesus … do you think that kind of life story is going to give you a good feeling?

And do you really think it’s going to satisfy you now?

Dear soul, you are made for so much more than Netflix, your smart phone, and flirting with sin!

Look, try something new. What do you have to lose? Really. In light of eternity, what do you have to lose?

Proverbs 19:21

21 There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

Try surrendering and falling into Jesus’ arms.

Try making much of His name.

Try serving others.

Want to talk about purpose? Satisfaction? Joy? Delight?

Yes. This.

An intimate relationship with your Creator God is a divine sweetness you won’t find elsewhere. A close-knit community of believers is joy overflowing. Serving and loving others with your gifts is satisfaction and hope that fills deeply.

Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

What do you love to do? Write, dance, sing, play an instrument, paint, travel? Do you have a heart for women? Teens? Children? Sick individuals? Orphans? Confused Christians? Third-world countries? Try opening your hands and saying, “Lord, use these. Use me.” Do it to make much of God’s name. Use the things you love to love on others.

Romans 12:6-8

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

1 Corinthians 12:24-26

But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

I look around my Sunday school class … what if each of us single adults reached out to a younger brother or sister in faith?

Y’all, we all need someone to disciple us, guide us, and show us how to mature in and follow the Lord.

Romans 12:1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

I see siblings and cousins and young people in my community who have so much potential and are in desperate need of a big brother or sister in Christ to come alongside them! To show them that they care. To guide them.

But how can we guide them if we don’t even know where we’re going in life? If we don’t have grown-up faith yet? If we are bogged down with the same old sin and insecurities that we’ve had since we were kids?

And the generation before mine … your work isn’t done yet. We need you.

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

So, listen. There is kingdom work to be done. Purpose can be found. Look up and find yourself in Christ. And then look around and find all the unique, exciting roles that He’s calling you to!

Some of the roles I’ve been called to are … SISTER. My eyes are being opened to all the opportunities for thoughtful conversations, honest confession, good example, speaking life, and showing love to the precious people that God has placed smack-dab in my life in this season of life.

DISCIPLE-MAKER. I’ve long had a heart to minister to women and girls. And I’m passionate about God’s design for womanhood, manhood, marriage, and the like. God has opened doors for me to start a book study on “Girl Defined” by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird with some young ladies and it has brought me such purpose and joy already!

EXAMPLE. Regardless of my age or whatever, I am to shine light. At times, I realize that I’m called to be a Christ-like example to those older than me … or in situations where it seems like they should be teaching me. It can be tempting to step back in fear or insecurity. But what is my Lord calling me to do? Walk in purity, maturity, holiness, and love so that they might see Him.

1 Timothy 4:12-16

12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

FRIEND. Love. Encourage. Uplift. Sharpen. Spur on. Praise Jesus, some of my most painful experiences can now be used to help precious friends who He puts in my life. (Suffering is not in vain. Ask God how He can use it in a way that will make beauty bloom out of ashes.) It’s very good to do life together. Spend quality time with brothers & sisters in Christ. Laugh together. Pray together. Pursue God together. Serve together. Have fun together.

So what purpose-filled roles might be waiting for you to step into them?

So much more!

Beloved reader, if you are struggling with passivity, hopelessness, or meaninglessness, know that I am believing in faith for you that God is leading you to so much more!

Romans 8:28-34

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Fall into His waiting arms. Let His hand guide you. I know you might be afraid, but you can do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. Only in His strength.

There is so much more.

There is so much more for you.

Step out.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Book Review: Grown-Up Faith by Kevin Myers

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Grown-Up Faith: The Big Picture for a Bigger Life by Kevin Myers (with Charlie Wetzel)

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars

This was a super fabulous read! Grown-Up Faith: The Big Picture for a Bigger Life by Kevin Myers is one of those books that I feel like giving out to everyone. It talks about the basics of Christianity and the Bible, faith, and going deeper with God. All in all, I just feel like it’s a great read for Christ-followers, and also those who are young in the faith, struggling, or unsure if they believe at all. So yes, I very much recommend this book!

Spiritual maturity comes not from merely knowing about God, but rather from experiencing God with an intimacy that has emotion and affection. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 18)

Mature followers of Christ seek to be holy as He is holy. That require obedience to Him. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 20)

Grown-Up Faith is engaging, clear, and informative. Overall, an easy read … even though I took a little longer to finish it. I really enjoyed it. There were discussions that I’m already familiar with, and profound thoughts that deepened my understanding.

This is not merely a punishment; it’s a principle. When we disobey God’s life principles, the consequence is death. Why? Because by doing so, we disconnect ourselves from the source of life. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 53)

Everyone grows old, but not everyone grows up. Those who don’t grow up get stuck blaming others. They get stuck being a victim. Or worse, they become blind to their chosen victimhood … (Grown-Up Faith pg. 58)

Kevin Myers talks about reading and understanding the Bible correctly. It is one big story that points to Jesus Christ! He quotes a few great Christian authors and speakers. He talks about some of the tough questions that people ask about God, and shares thought-provoking scenarios to help bring understanding. He discusses our real purpose as Christians. He shares poignant and humorous stories and snippets from his own life. It was all very interesting, and I left this book feeling more passionate about living for God! Knowing Him and doing all for His glory is what I’m made for.

It’s less about being reformed and more about being transformed. This needs to occur from the inside out. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 175)

By obeying God, we become more like Christ and less like everyone else in the world. (Grown-Up Faith pg. 190)

If you are a Christian, this is a great book for you to read. If you are not a Christian, this is also a great book for you to read! I’m so glad I picked up Grown-Up Faith and am excited it’s now part of my Christian Living book collection.

I received a complimentary copy of Grown-Up Faith through BookLookBloggers program. This review is honest and all my own.

Book Review: Freedom by Jennifer Renee Watson

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Freedom! : The Gutsy Pursuit of Breakthrough and the Life Beyond It by Jennifer Renee Watson

My Personal Review ~ 3.75 stars

I picked up Freedom!: The Gutsy Pursuit of Breakthrough and the Life Beyond It by Jennifer Renee Watson because I’m tired of me telling myself that I’m broken and I can’t move beyond it. (And, to be honest, the cover is quite gorgeous!) I enjoyed it, and, overall, feel like it had a truly great message!

God is not the voice in your head shaming you, saying you are not enough. God is telling you that He is enough. That He is the great I AM. Who He is inside of you is more than enough to take care of whatever you are facing today or what you will face in the future. Jesus is not tired of you. Jesus is waiting and unafraid of your questions. (Freedom! pg. 66)

For real, a lot of us Christians … perhaps especially women … willingly live in brokenness. We take on the victim mentality and try to survive each day and do the right thing and please all the people. Freedom! is here to tell you that it’s time to pursue freedom! In Christ, we can move into deeper freedom than we ever thought possible. We can stop listening to that negative, nagging, dark voice in our head that tells us we’ll never be good enough. This book hit on some important topics and gave me another boost in my journey of freedom & wholeness in Christ.

A couple things. For some reason or another, this book wasn’t as easy of a read as some. Some chapters took me awhile to get through. Also, there was just a bit of that You Deserve It!You’re a Strong, Kick-Butt Heroine stuff mixed into the message. And that tends to rub me a little wrong. But it wasn’t overpowering, because the biggest thing I got from this book was that I don’t have to stay broken, and Jesus Christ is my everything – He will help me break through.

Your safe person is always Jesus. He alone can mend and do what no person or soul sister can do. (Freedom! pg. 96)

Your grateful soul was what motivated you to service. You were too busy pleasing God to concern yourself with pleasing others. (Freedom! pg. 151)

So, Freedom! wasn’t a five-star read for me. But it still had some really, really good points in it. Paragraphs and prayers that brought just a little more healing to my heart. God is so good. Thank you, Jennifer Renee Watson, for writing this book. I look forward to growing in freedom and grace together, even though we may never meet. God bless you!

I received a complimentary copy of Freedom! from Bethany House Publishers. This review is honest and completely my own.

 

**Originally posted on Between the Pages of This Bookish Life on March 17th, 2019**

Politics, the Medical World, and More

Hello, dear readers. I recently watched a Youtube video that inspired me. It inspired me to get real. So, just briefly, I want to talk about those touchy topics that some of us like to avoid – politics, the medical world, and more.

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President Donald Trump

Building a Wall

Voting

War

Illegal Immigrants

Racism

White Privilege

Sexism

Toxic Masculinity

Feminism

#MeToo

Rape Culture

LGBT Community

Hate Speech

Socialism

Police Brutality

Pay Gap

Gun Control

Abortion

Birth Control

Vaccines

Antibiotics

New Age

Harry Potter and Witchcraft

What do you think about all these subjects?

The world can be a confusing place. We have passionate, vehement opinions being thrown at us from every direction. The media shows us terrifying or horrifying stories that make us inclined to believe this or that.

But, before you make up your mind on something, I want to encourage you to stop. Stop and research. Stop and think.

As Christians we are called to be in the world, but not of it.

John 17:14-18

14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

So yes, I believe we should have an opinion about the world, our culture, and the practices around us. We should be involved in politics and social issues. But no, we should not look like the majority of the people around us.

If you are following all the ideas and movements that the secular world is, I would plead with you to stop and examine your life and your beliefs.

You should not look like the world.

Don’t blindly follow or agree with something because it sounds good and that’s what the rest of the people are rallying behind.

That is being ignorant, passive, selfish, and careless.

And I don’t think any of those four adjectives should describe a Christ-follower, at least in a general sense.

Acts 5:29

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

We should be wise. Knowledgeable. Strong. Set-apart. Loving. Caring. Informed. Compassionate. Vigilant. Steadfast. Faithful. Truth-seeking. Passionate. Bold. Hopeful. Selfless. Hardworking. Courageous. Different. Godly. Biblical.

Matthew 10:16

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Stop buying into everything the media says and the culture tells you, and start digging into God’s Word. And I don’t mean surface-level digging … “Oh, Jesus ate bread, so gluten-free stuff is just a bunch of nonsense.” Whether or not the gluten-free lifestyle is a bunch of nonsense (I’m gf because of allergies, so I’m not saying it is!), that is just a very lazy way to approach things.

I mean dig deep. Study the Word. Study God’s character. Study science and biology. How did God create your body to work? What does God say about caring for our bodies? Study the food you eat, the shots you get, the products you use and figure out what exactly you’re putting into your body. Study history, politics, and economics. What logically makes sense if we look at the patterns and rise and fall of nations? What does God say about government, justice, and our part in it?

We need to stop thinking that our lives are just peachy and start learning about the world we live in instead escaping into other worlds by binge-watching TV shows.

This is not a game.

As Christians, we are called to live with purpose. Live intentionally. Take action. Make a difference. Love fearlessly. Fight for righteousness, justice, and truth.

We should not sit back and let wicked men dictate what our society looks like … Even going along with it because, oh, it sounds pleasant, peaceful, and safe. It sounds right and good.

What if you found out that some of the movements you’re supporting were really destroying people instead of helping them like you thought?

  • Abortion is about fighting for women’s rights!

But millions of babies are being ruthlessly slaughtered in the process. What about their rights? They are humans and this is murder.

  • We need to love everyone! Support gay pride and the LGBT community!

But such lifestyles are actually harmful and destructive – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – to the individual. There are studies showing that people who get transgender surgeries feel even more empty, depressed, and desperate than before – oftentimes committing suicide. How is it loving to push them – especially children! – into this? While God loves these people, their sin is bringing His just wrath. It is unloving of you to support their lifestyle.

  • Police brutality! We have too many bad policemen!

But don’t you understand how many good policemen we have? And how they put their lives on the line daily for your protection and comfort; they’re the first one you go to when in an emergency; they see horrible things you’d never want to see, etc. … and that your careless slander may encourage criminals to carelessly take policemen’s lives? Do you know how many police are murdered, and that they might actually need your support and prayers for protection??

  • #MeToo! Always believe the woman!

But do you know that sometimes the man is innocent (shocking, right??), and his reputation, career, and life is sent into upheaval because we want to cater to vicious and vindictive women?

  • People who are anti-vaccine are murders! They care nothing for their children! They are pure evil!

But have you ever talked to these people personally? Have you studied vaccines, health, the medical world, and our bodies in depth like they have? Do you know that some of the vaccine industries support abortion in the most awful of ways by putting pieces of aborted babies in their vaccines? (Can you be radically, truly pro-life and also pro-vaccine? Something that I think we, as Christians, need to seriously ponder.) Do you know about the anti-vaccine people’s concerns that vaccines are actually dangerous for their children, whom they love fiercely and want to be healthy and protected?

We need to wake up. Know what’s really going on in our community, country, and world. We need to be a bright, healing light by the way we’re involved in politics and social issues.

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

So I would encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this video, and check out the other Youtube channels I mention below.

I’m not saying that Republican equals Christian. I’m not saying patriot before Christ-follower. I’m not saying my views are all for sure right. I’m not saying that these Youtube channels are spot-on and have everything together. But they give you something to think about. Something counter-cultural. Something radical. Something intriguing and honest and raw and real and hopeful. Something against the norm.

(Just for your information, not all of these channels are Christian (but probably the majority of them come from self-proclaimed Christians), some of them do contain some language, and I have certainly not watched all the videos! So I’m not saying that I agree with everything presented in these channels. But they’re a way to do some research beyond what the media is telling us!)

Faith and Politics (Christianity and Politics)

***

Michael Spann

The Culture Project

Answers in Genesis

The Bible Project

Tipping Point With Liz Wheeler on OAN

Allie Beth Stuckey

The Patriot Nurse

PragerU

The Daily Wire

Brandon Tatum

Dr. Dale Brown

The Chat with Priscilla

Genesis Apologetics

Candace Owens

Hoover Institution

Patricia Dickson

Dr. Josh Axe

Students For Life

***

2 Chronicles 7:14

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

 

Open Your Hands

open hands

We all have desires, right? Hopes and dreams for our life. We make plans. We work toward something we want. We pursue a certain job or establish a certain ministry. We form relationships. We pray for good things we feel that God might want as a part of our life.

I believe that God gives us desires, passions, and goals. I believe He fashions into our souls the drive to pursue things such as:

  • a job that we love & are good at
  • a ministry that we have a gift for & are energized through
  • a godly marriage
  • a healthy family
  • a friend group that spurs us on toward Christ
  • etc.

Maybe, this year of 2019, you feel it’s time.

Time to …

find that godly spouse to partner with

move out of your parent’s house

become intimately part of a godly church

get that great, fulfilling job

have a baby

pursue your passion by starting college

start that small group for women

move overseas & begin your work as a missionary

publish a book

adopt a child

propose or be proposed to 😉

find physical healing

make a best friend

move to a different state where you feel there is more potential for growth

Whatever it might be. Maybe you’re ready for it. You feel 2019 is the year. And, my dear friend, maybe this is the year for your breakthrough. And that is exciting! Praise the Lord!

But I want to encourage you to keep perspective. Recently, I wrote a post called To Live is Christ. And that is the perspective we must always keep, whether we are pursuing a passion, moving out, getting married, starting a ministry, or getting a new job.

Our Lord says to seek first the kingdom of God …

Matthew 6:33

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

…and even if you feel this desire of yours is part of seeking God’s kingdom (and it may very well be!) remember that our King can see the whole picture, while you can’t. And His plans will prevail. And it is good! You can trust Him.

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Psalm 37:23

23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

Psalm 119:105

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

Proverbs 16:1-3

The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.

Commit your works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.

So open your hands, sweet soul.

Hold life with open hands.

So if God plans to give you what you are desiring and pursuing, you will be ready to receive it with the right heart of humility and joy.

So if God turns your plans upside down, your open hands will be able to receive the grace & strength you need to seek His face and rest in His peace.

Open your hands, so He can give you blessings that you never thought to ask for. Maybe blessings you never imagined you’d want.

So He can take things from your life that are actually not good for you (even if you thought they were, at first!)

Hold life with open hands so that you may flee from idols.

1 John 5:21

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Marriage, a job, a ministry, college, a friend group, a new place, etc., these can all become idols if we grip them with desperate hands.

There weren’t meant to be idols. They were meant to be gifts! But we so easily forget God and try to heft other things into His place. And this is painful.

Our lives are for God’s glory! Not ours. We are to love Him with our soul – our whole being.

When we grip something, with desperate hands, we are keeping that aspect of our life from Him. We are not trusting Him with it. We are creating distance between us and God. Straining our relationship, and elevating a gift above the Giver.

We have become idolatrous.

And believe me, dear friend, having idols is painful. It hurts because it is not what we are designed for. It is not God’s good design – it is not how things are supposed to work. Having idols causes invalid and irrational anxiety, fear, suspicion, and anger. It turns our heart against God.

We need our heart’s desire to draw us to God, not away from Him. To draw us to glorify Him, not fill our heart with suspicion that He is not good.

And perhaps it’s not your desire that is the problem, but your heart.

Me desiring a husband and children is not a problem. But if this desire turns in bitterness, passivity, and resentment because I don’t have it, then my heart has wandered from God and His goodness, and strayed down Satan’s dark path.

A woman having a husband and children is not a problem. But if she clings to them so tightly that she is riddled with anxiety & fear, and is filled with suspicion toward God … What if He takes one of them from me? then she has moved out of God’s perfect love and given into Satan’s age-old tactic.

I struggle with anxiety. Probably both of the medical variety, and just a form that is practiced and becomes part of life if one doesn’t reject it.

I’ve often worried, through the years of my life, that if I were in a relationship I’d be anxious … what if this isn’t God’s desired path for me?

If I were engaged and planning a wedding … what if God takes this away from me, for some reason, right when I almost have it?

Married with children … what if one of them dies? How could I bear it?

This anxiety … this doubt … this fear … this questioning of God’s goodness … this sin … this idolatry … It has lessened as I’ve experienced God’s goodness and learned that I can and should abide in Christ. It’s still something that I struggle with. That aspect of my humanity that I wrestle through. That “old man” that I fight.

It is hard, my friends, I know! Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just press into God. Repent. Surrender. Ask Him to reveal, more deeply, His infinite love and grace to you, that you may not live with a legalistic, fearful heart, but a joyful, peace-filled, trusting, knowing one.

I have had some thoughts that have helped me. They go something like this:

***

If the opportunity to enter a romantic relationship comes my way, I will pray about it and get godly counsel from spiritual mentors … and I will entrust it into God’s hands. I will hold it lightly and pay attention to the words of the wise, the opinions of my family, and the peace – or lack of it – that I feel inside. God has shown me that He is at work in the details of my life before, so I know He will be directing my every step in this also. I won’t refuse to feel pain. If this is of Him, hallelujah! If it’s not, then He has better plans in store.

***

If God is so gracious to me as to bless me with a husband and children, I will strive to hold each of them … precious gifts that they are … with open hands. Because they belong to God before they are ever mine. I don’t get to call the shots. But rather, live in daily thankfulness and entrust them, and myself, into my Father’s loving and powerful Hands.

***

I think if you try this method of trust, humble surrender, and gratefulness, you will find it much preferable to your method of white-knuckled, anxiety-ridden, painful, peace-less, fake control.

Because, sweet friend, you are not in control. And you pretending that you are is not helping anything. In fact, it’s destroying your peace and your ability to live life more abundantly.

It’s Satan’s attempt to steal from you what the Almighty God has give you.

John 10:10

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

This post is not to say to just expect not to receive what you desire from the Father, but to rest in His peace through the process!

Let go.

Open your hands.

Rejoice in your loving Father above. ❤

Psalm 31:3, 14-15, 19-22 & 24

For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion

21 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!
22 For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You.

24 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

Hollyn – ISAAC

Aaron Cole (feat. Tobymac) – RIGHT ON TIME