I was inspired by Margaret Feinberg’s post to choose “One Word” for 2017. I made a list of possibilities and narrowed it down to one that I just couldn’t shake.
Little did I know a trial was looming around the corner that would seemingly take my breath away. It certainly took my words away. (For a moment, anyway.)
But the trial shocked me back to life, and in my relationship with God. No longer could I go through the motions and linger in the comfortable. I am desperate now. I need Him like I need air to breathe.
I remember feeling this desperate for Him when I had a miscarriage almost 8 years ago. Clinging to Him through the mourning. Two days spent in bed, in worship, writing out verses, receiving promises. Praying that one day He would redeem this and bring a gift of breath, life and joy. I reflect on the abundance He brought out of death. The loss of a life. But then, a year later, the arrival of a baby boy. And a few years later, a baby girl (the promised “Ava Joy”). Desires of the heart fulfilled. Restoration delivered. Hope seen.
Today, His word is my daily bread. Yesterday’s portion won’t do. I need it fresh. I need His truth to extinguish the lies – those flaming arrows from the evil one.
I stand at a crossroads. Which road will I take? I believe God has ordained for me to walk the broken way to freedom. For me, freedom is found in overcoming fear. Fear has no place in my life. As my old pastor once said, “Fear is faith in the devil… fear and faith cannot co-exist.” There is no room for fear in the wake of this experience because it is a step of my pilgrimage, a piece of the puzzle, a part of the broken way Home.
Change is hard but nothing is too hard for the One who never changes. He is faithful. He is good. He is more than enough. He can change us from the inside out. May we receive it with grace and humility.
I want to be overwhelmed by Him and underwhelmed by my circumstances. Not the other way around. God is in charge. He’s holding us in the palm of His hands. He is still seated on the throne. Authority is His, the Lord of all.
“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; His eyes examine them.” – Psalm 11:3-4 (NIV)
He is not shaken by what tries to shake me.
His eye is on us. He’s watching to see how we walk this out. How we move forward toward heaven, toward Him. I’m learning that the journey matters. We don’t know what our future on this earth holds – immediate or distant – but we know Who holds our future. This place, this earth, is not our home. I’m grateful to be seeing life through a temporal lens again. May we keep our eyes fixed on Him.
The hardship is a gift, providing a new approach to life. I can embrace intentional living again. Seize opportunities. Enjoy time with people. Savor the scenery. Be present and purposeful.
Writer’s block is gone and I can write again. The pages of a new journal from a dear friend start to fill up. The back cover says: “It is here where she must begin to tell her story.” I feel the fire in my bones and I’m bursting at the seams. I must begin to tell my story.
I love music. All kinds, but especially worship music. Music that glorifies God and changes the atmosphere and strengthens my soul. I can’t stop listening to all of Shane and Shane’s Worship Initiative albums on Spotify. (There are a lot so I’m not tired of them yet!) These songs are the anthem of my season.
In the last week I’ve heard the word “Ebenezer” at least three times. From “Come Thou Fount” to a bible study with Beth Moore to a Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast. God has my attention and I search the Scriptures for this Ebenezer stone. A stone of help, a reminder, from 1 Samuel 7:12 – “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
Thus far, the Lord has helped us. May we continue to put our trust and confidence in Him. He is faithful, always.
Another piece of fresh bread for my hungry soul.
God brings to mind Colossians 2:6-7 in The Message, which He gave me on January 4th, and it’s just as timely today as it was then…
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.”
Life can begin again, and gratitude can overflow once more. Keep going in the faith. Stay rooted in Christ.
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” – Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)
God can do anything. Anything! I don’t want to miss it. And I don’t want to take a detour and miss the work He wants to do deeply and gently within me. The character development. The becoming more like Him.
In the face of adversity, there’s a tendency to let my heart be hardened. I don’t want to go there. I want to be flexible, pliable in the Potter’s hands, so He can continue to form and shape me as He sees fit. I want to be useful in His hands. Not dry and brittle. May He flood our souls with living water when we start to dry out.
He can make something out of nothing. In our emptiness, there is grace and abundance. In our weakness, He is strong. When we die to self, we find His resurrection power.
“Then you would trust, because there is hope; and you would look around and rest securely.” – Job 11:18 (NASB)
Hope is found in Christ alone. Who hopes for what he already has? We hope for what we cannot yet see, and we wait for it patiently (Romans 8:24-24). Because of Him, there is hope, and we are secure. He is trustworthy – worthy to be trusted. Our confidence is in Him. He is faithful in everything He does. He makes us bold, brave, courageous again. We open our eyes, we look around. Aware of our circumstances, we search Him out. We explore all the possibilities with Him. We dig for truth and direction. Because of Him, we rest and relax in safety and security.