When You have no Idea Where You’re Going

20190803_132044

 

The past year and a half of my life has been CRAZY. God led me to pack up all my belongings in the trunk of my car and move halfway across the country to Colorado… and then He led me to pack up everything again and move back. Then He opened doors and led me on my first international trip to Iceland.

This season of life has had its really amazing, beautiful, awe-inspiring moments… and its really traumatizing, stressful, fear-fueled, crying on the floor moments. Its dragged me out of my comfort zone and forced me to rely on God for every step (or crumble, panic, and sob until I do).

The other day, as I looked back on this incredible yet arduous journey, God brought Isaiah 42:16 to mind which says, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them” (NIV).

Colorado… Iceland… both are places I’d never gone before.

The past year and a half or so have felt like constant change. Each day a new opportunity; a new challenge. God has used this season to catapult me out of my comfort zone and onto a tight rope walk with Him. Some days I feel blind, disoriented–with no sense of control over my circumstances.

It’s been about six years since my father’s suicide… and about four years since God delved deep into the darkness of my own heart and mind, dredged up so much baggage from my past, brought significant healing to my wounds, and turned my darkness into light.

Since then God has led me on a journey where He alone is my guide. It’s a journey into a new way of living; turning from a legacy of brokenness and into a legacy of hope, and light, and victory in Jesus Christ.

I’m a lot different than I used to be, but I still have struggles. I still find myself afraid, and lonely, and tempted to live that old way of life at times.

But then His Spirit reminds me of who my Savior is, and who I am in Him. He reminds me of truth, and joy, and peace, and courage, and victory through His grace. He paints the future in my mind with a new goal; a new dream… HE is my new dream. My new reason for living.

My purpose and joy in this life is to grow ever closer to Him, and to share who He is with the world: my God, my Creator; my Savior; my King; my Liberator; my Sustainer; my Defender; my Father; my Teacher; my Friend; my Refuge; my Safe Place; my closest and most trusted Companion and Guide.

Not only is God taking me to new places on the map, but He’s taking my heart to new places as well. I feel a bit like a little child, wobbling as I try to learn how to live out this new life He’s given me. But praise God, He is a patient and loving Father.

I don’t know what place He’ll bring me to next, whether it be a new country, a new continent, or a new corner of my own heart and healing. But this I know: He is with me, and He will never leave me nor forsake me. He will teach me and guide me. He won’t leave me behind. He won’t abandon me. He’ll carry me in His arms to the next place, and the next.

Though He leads me along unfamiliar paths, He will guide me. He will turn the darkness light before me, and smooth out the rough places, making them passable by His strength and mercy.

He will be with me, and He will teach me. “You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go'” (Isaiah 30:20-21, NLT).

If God is leading you out of your comfort zone, and you feel lost and more than a little scared, take heart: “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT).

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

To the Writer who Feels like Giving Up: Three Reasons to Keep on Writing

dmitry-ratushny-412448-unsplash

Have you ever felt discouraged with your writing? (Please say it’s not just me).

Have you ever found yourself asking questions like:

“Is my writing making any impact?”
“Am I actually making a difference?”
“Will this book ever be finished?”
“Is it worth it to keep on writing?”
“Should I just give up?”

Maybe you’re working on a book that seems impossible to finish—and if you do, will anyone read it? Maybe you’re trying to keep up with a blog but the number of views is embarrassingly low, and you wonder if it’s worth it to keep writing posts.

Last week I was asked to share a devotional at a writers group called Writers on the Rock. As I was brainstorming what to share (and trying not to freak out as the deadline approached), God brought the verse Zechariah 4:10 to mind which says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (NLT).

We, as humans, always seem to be striving for something bigger. As writers, we can get so caught up with the dream of a big platform, or more sales, or a spot on the New York Times best sellers list that low traffic numbers on a blog, or a dry period with no published pieces, or a rejection letter on a novel we gave our everything to write, can make us want to quit—at least it can for me.

We humans get discouraged by small beginnings, but God tells us not to be. Why? Why should we keep on writing when it feels like we’re not getting anywhere?

Three Reasons to Keep on Writing when You want to Give Up

1. Keep writing to deepen your relationship with God. If God has wired you to be a writer; if He’s placed that passion in your heart, then following the path He’s laid out for you will draw you closer to Him. There’s no higher satisfaction than working with God to do what He’s called you to do.

I attended a meeting awhile back with the American Christian Fiction Writers association, and the guest speaker, author Bob Hostetler, put it this way. He said: “Write to feel God’s pleasure. Write for the pleasure and completeness that comes from doing exactly what God created you to do… Life is too short, and writing is too hard to do it for any other reason.”

Writing is my escape. Writing is my therapy. But most of all, writing draws my heart closer to God. Teaming up with the Holy Spirit and penning the words God wants me to write brings a level of pleasure like none other. When I write His words, I feel His presence, and in His presence there is hope, and healing, and fullness of joy.

2. Keep writing to see God’s power at work, and to glorify Him. In 2 Cor. 12:9-10 Paul says, “Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses…”(NLT).

Paul goes so far as to say he takes pleasure in the moments when his weaknesses are on display, because those weaknesses create an opportunity for God to show up in his life and reveal HIS power and bring glory to HIM, and accomplish great things for HIS kingdom.

For me, I feel like every piece I’ve ever published seems like a complete fluke. It’s like God keeps sneaking me in through back doors. I wish I had time to tell you all the crazy random AWESOME opportunities God has brought about through no merit of my own. And those are the BEST opportunities, because when God brings something out of my nothing—not only does it bring glory to Him, but I get to see His power at work in my life, and I fall deeper in love with Him in the process.

3. Keep writing to help change the world. That may sound cheesy, but 1 Corinthians 15:58 tells us, “My dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless”(NLT).

Not one single word you write for God is ever useless. Whether it’s cut out in the editing process or not—regardless—God is using it to bring about something of eternal significance, first in your own heart, and second in the hearts of the readers.

There’s a book I love called The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a monk who lived a quiet life in a monastery in the 1600’s. Most of his book was compiled from excerpts of personal letters Brother Lawrence sent to his friends. I doubt it ever dawned on Lawrence that the words he wrote to encourage his friends would later be put into a book that would sell over 1 million copies and change lives for nearly 300 years and counting.

When you write the words God places in your heart—whether it be a journal entry, a blog post, a novel, or a letter to a friend—God IS accomplishing a great work, whether it feels like it or not.

Our job is not to worry where our words will end up, our job is simply to keep on writing as God leads. Flannery O’Conner once said, “When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God’s business.”

Lastly, Hebrews 10:36 urges us not to quit when it says, “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised”(NLT).

So keep writing. Keep seeking God. We can trust Him to take care of the rest. ❤ 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

To the Christian Who Messed Up

christian-erfurt-1131100-unsplash

 

Have you ever messed up? Like, really badly? Have you ever done something so stupid or shameful it haunted you for weeks? Maybe you’re there right now. Every time you close your eyes you see flashbacks of what you did, what you said. Before you know it all the joy is sucked out of you and you wonder whether you’ve used up all your second chances and God has officially given up on you.

 

Maybe it feels like you can’t do anything without messing up. Maybe you’re carrying around a burden of shame and guilt with you wherever you go. Maybe you think God could never love you because you always make mistakes: You never keep your promises to spend more time with Him. You forget to read your Bible. You miss opportunities to reach out to others because you’re too afraid of looking weird or getting rejected.

 

Or maybe it goes deeper than that. Maybe you went too far in a relationship with the opposite sex, or you found yourself going back to addictions—even though you swore the last time that you’d never do it again. But you did. And you feel all dirty inside. It feels awful to let God down, doesn’t it?

 

Our sins can create gaping chasms in our hearts that keep us from experiencing and embracing the love of God. If any of these words have struck a chord, please allow me to share with you, dear brother or sister in Christ, about this thing called grace.

 

This Thing Called Grace

 

I’ve always struggled with the concept of God’s grace. I’m a recovering perfectionist so it’s hard for me to believe that God would love a mess like me. It’s hard for me to claim the truth that I am forgiven and no longer condemned for my sins because of Christ. But God has been working extensively in this area of my life for a few years now. He’s brought me out of the dark winter of shame and into the spring of new beginnings.

 

Before I go any further I should probably clarify that our sins do matter to God, but maybe not for the reasons you think. God wants the best for you. He wants you to experience the abundant life Jesus promises us through an intimate relationship with Him. He wants to take you along the best possible path for your life—His path.

 

Sin gets in the way of that. It steals a part of our heart and draws it away from God. Sin gets in the way of God’s plan for our lives, and although there is ALWAYS redemption to be found through a genuinely repentant heart, it can steal opportunities God wants to give us, and it can rob us of intimacy with Him. That said, Satan loves to use our mistakes as a way to make us give up on our walk with God and hide our hearts from our Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Conviction vs. Condemnation

 

Always remember: God convicts. Satan condemns. God may speak to your heart through the Holy Spirit and tell you that a certain behavior is harmful and you need to go in the opposite direction. Satan will show you an endless replay of your mistakes and tear you down by telling you you’re worthless; you’re a mistake, and there’s no hope for you.

 

If you hear the loving voice of a Heavenly Father urging you to turn away from a harmful habit, follow His voice. But if a voice is constantly berating you, telling you you’re too far gone and you should just give up, that’s Satan.

 

Should we feel condemned when we mess up? Nope. Here’s why: Romans 8:1 declares, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). In verses 33-34 it says, “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (NLT).

 

Aren’t we supposed to repent for the bad things we do? Yes. But contrary to popular belief, repentance doesn’t mean wallowing in guilt and paying emotional penance; rather it simply means to turn away from something and go in the opposite direction. Jesus Christ took all our shame when He offered Himself up to be crucified. Colossians 2:13-14 says, “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (NLT).

 

We receive salvation by God’s grace alone, and we keep it by grace alone. My standing as God’s child doesn’t depend on performance, but on God’s character. 2 Timothy 2:13 assures us that “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is” (NLT).

 

Freedom to Try Again

 

This is all part of the freedom in Christ Paul talks about in his letters. We are free to reject the lies of Satan that condemn us when we fall, and accept the grace of God that gives us the strength to try again. Even Paul messed up.

 

Paul admits his own struggle with sin when he says in Romans chapter 7 verses 15-23, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate… I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway… I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind…” (NLT).

 

It sounds depressing at this point. If even Paul can’t get it, where’s the hope? He answers in verses 24-25: “Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (NLT).

 

Jesus is the reason you were saved from your sins. Jesus is the reason you can stand with dignity when you fail. Jesus is the reason you can claim God’s love when you mess up. Jesus is the reason you can turn in the opposite direction of your sin and try again. Whenever I write an article I try to ask God what He wants to say to the precious souls who read it, and this time this is what He said:

 

“To woman who feels defeated because she tried to make goals, and ended up failing again, tell her there’s nothing she could ever do to earn My love (Philippians 3:3, 7-9). It’s already hers, and the more she soaks up My love and grace, the more naturally everything else will fall into place.

 

To the man who can’t forget his mistakes, tell him I have separated him from his sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12); I no longer associate him with them. I have forgiven him. He can lift his head with dignity, because My love has destroyed any trace of his mistakes.

 

To the girl with scars on her arms who’s tempted to cut herself again, tell her she doesn’t need to shed her own blood because the blood I shed on the cross paid for her sins and shortcomings (Hebrews 10:18). Because of My love and grace she can reject the lies of condemnation and claim the truth of My unconditional love.

 

To the girl who’s huddled on the floor in tears, terrified because she went too far with a guy and she’s scared, tell her I still love her, and nothing can ever separate her from My love (Romans 8:38-39). Tell her not to be afraid because, if she cries out to Me, I will help her, and I will work everything out for good—even her mistakes.”

 

Breathing in Grace

 

I struggle with sin. You struggle with sin— even the most influential pastors of our time struggle with sin. No one is perfect. No one is righteous apart from Jesus Christ. Every single human on this planet is completely dependent upon the grace of God. Not one of us has a leg to stand on without it.

 

God knows this. He knows we’re imperfect. He knows we mess up. He knows we even do horrible, awful things sometimes. 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time–to show us his grace through Christ Jesus” (NLT).

 

God has good plans for us. He wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him and experience the abundant life Jesus promised. He wants us to do the right thing—not because He wants us to be perfect, but because He wants us to experience Him.

 

Paul says in Ephesians 3:14-19, “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. “Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (NLT).

 

If you’re a Christian, chances are you want to grow, you want to make progress, you want to do better, you want to get out of the rut of sin and shame. We all want to become strong and mature Christians, but where does Paul say that strength comes from? “Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong,” (NLT). God’s love. God’s grace. That’s what makes us mature in Christ. That’s what gives us the power and wisdom to turn away from our sins and follow Him. That’s what gives strength, and understanding, and power.

 

A Leap of Faith

 

God’s grace goes against every natural thought process of mankind. It’s unexpected. It’s undeserved. It’s unexplainable. It’s unfathomable. It takes a leap of faith to pick ourselves up when we fall. It takes faith to lift our heads with the dignity bought by Christ and push aside the devil’s lies so we can claim God’s grace and try again.

 

The more I allow the truth of the Gospel— God’s ultimate demonstration of grace—to affect the way I think, the more power I end up having over sin, and the more I begin to experience the abundant life He promised.

 

Note: This article was originally published in the Spring 2017 edition of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. You can find out more about their ministry at girlz4christ.org, or check them out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Girlz4ChristMagazine), and instagram (www.instagram.com/g4cmag).

To read the original version of this article, click here.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Chasing Mountains

ciprian-morar-194660-unsplash

 

I’ve been chasing mountains for a long time. Habakkuk 3:19 is one of my absolute favorite verses. It says: “The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights” (NLT).

 

I’ve always pictured the “heights” as accomplishments, or goals, or those American dream moments—the ones where a person reaches the top and everyone’s in awe… but the other day God enabled me to see this verse in a different light.

 

The past year has been one of big changes for me. Exciting changes. Heart-wrenching changes. Good changes. Suck-the-breath-right-out-you-and-leave-you-crying-on-the-floor changes. The other day I was chatting with a friend and discussing the WHY. Why has God led me on this crazy adventure? What has been the point of it all? And she replied so succinctly, “So you could grow closer to Him.” It was a huge reality check.

 

The whole point of any journey God calls me to is to draw me into deeper intimacy with Him, and any tangible fruit that happens to flow from that is a gift of sheer grace. 

 

Reading through Habakkuk 3:19 the other day, God began speaking a new perspective to me: The point is not the heights themselves; the point is that God makes us able to tread on them. Why is that such a big deal? Because if you read the previous verses you get the sense that the writer wasn’t talking about accomplishments or dreams. Verses 16-17 are all about the suffering God’s people were enduring. Why is it such a big deal to be able to walk on the heights? Because most people don’t make it. Most people fall to their death, or at the very least, become so irreversibly injured that they can never walk again…

 

What are the heights? They’re precarious. They’re hazardous, and perilous, and treacherous. They’re risky, and difficult, and dangerous. The likelihood of falling—and failing—is great. The heights are the places in your life that make you think maybe you won’t make it…

 

The point is not the mountain itself; the point is the God who makes me able to climb the mountain without falling to my death. It’s not about my abilities or accomplishments, it’s about the God who gives me victory over even the darkest most dangerous places.

 

The writer talks about the deep suffering he sees going on around him. The pain is of such great magnitude that he trembles, and his lips quiver with fear, and his legs give way beneath him. The Scriptures literally say he “shook with terror” (vs. 16, NLT).

 

And yet, even as he looks out at all the hopelessness around him, he gathers together the scraps of his faith and he dares to say “Even though…”

 

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms… even though the olive crop fails… even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty… yet I will rejoice in the Lord!” (vs. 17-18a, NLT).

 

And this is where the miracle happens: “I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights” (vs. 18b-19, NLT).

 

These are the very heights that would plunge anyone else into destruction and hopelessness—but the writer is filled with joy…why? Because of the God who makes him able.

 

What does it mean to tread upon mountain heights? I don’t think it has as much to do with dreams, or goals, or accomplishments as I did before. The way I see it now, it means no longer being paralyzed by fear; it’s about being willing to walk in those dangerous places for Christ’s sake. It’s the conviction that God is good and evil doesn’t have to win in my life—no matter how dark things might seem.

 

It’s about freedom; when I reach the place where I finally let go of all else except my Savior; when I stop clinging to my own accomplishments and strengths and cling only to Him. It’s the freedom to follow Him with abandon; to go whenever, however, wherever He leads—no longer held captive by comfort or fear.

 

Above all, it’s about the intimacy with God that comes from letting Him lead me through those perilous places. At the end of the day, it’s all about God. It’s all about the One who gives me hope and joy and strength and makes me able through HIS power for HIS glory through HIS love. ❤

 

The heights, though difficult and challenging, are beautiful too. But that beauty isn’t found in the accomplishment, or the goal, or the dream; the beauty of the heights is God Himself. There is a prize to be won by taking His hand and walking the path, and the prize He gives is more of Himself.

 

Mountains used to be sort of a symbol for my dreams, but I’m realizing more and more that it’s not about the dreams themselves—God may bring them into being or He might not, but they aren’t the goal of my life. Making God known and proclaiming His goodness, and love, and power through a surrendered life, and growing in my relationship with Him, is the ultimate goal. ❤

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome to My Story

IMG_20180611_173103

 

The blog you’ve stumbled upon is more than a website. It’s my story–imperfect as it may be. It’s a record of my highs and lows; a beautiful entanglement of both the broken and the profound. Most of all, it’s a testimony; a written account of the God who heals my brokenness, and turns my darkness into light. It’s about the God who wanted me, sent His Son to die for me, and saved my soul; securing both my relationship with Him, and my eternity in His heaven.

 

It’s about the God who loves me, rescues me, heals me, and gives me hope. It’s about the God I yearn to share with the world; the One I wish every human heart on this planet could know. It’s evidence of brokenness and evidence of healing. It’s proof of imperfection and proof of relentless grace. It’s the beautiful wreckage of a soul that has encountered the love of Jesus Christ, and continues to delve deeper into that love with every step of the journey.

 

The holidays are coming up and I’ll be taking a break for a few weeks. I asked myself: If someone were to happen across my blog only once, what would I want them to see? What parts of my story would I share?

 

So I prayed about it, and I put together a list of ten posts–milestones in my story–to share with you, dear reader. I pray they are an encouragement to you in your journey, wherever you are. ❤

 

mountain top

#1: September 1st: And the Healing of a Broken Legacy.

“Four years ago on September 1st, after a lifelong struggle with addiction, depression, and abusive anger, my dad committed suicide. About three years ago, in the midst of the darkest depression I’d ever known, I stood at his grave and asked God with a heart too numb for tears, ‘Why should I believe I won’t end up right here, just like him?’”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/september-1st-and-the-healing-of-a-broken-legacy/

 

broken pieces

#2: Nothing Wasted: Finding Hope in the Broken Pieces.

“A little over four years ago my life froze. A single gunshot seemed to take away all my hope for the future. My dad’s suicide changed everything.

I was scared. I was helpless. I was at that age where a person’s life was supposed to be starting, but mine had stopped.

After the initial torrent of emotion and grief, things got a little better. God provided, but I was still stuck in a circumstance I couldn’t change. And there seemed to be no way out; no way forward.”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/nothing-wasted-finding-hope-in-the-broken-pieces/

 

Frost

#3: Through the Frost: Taking Steps of Faith When I can’t see Where I’m Going.

“On the ride home from a Jesus conference with my church family, the subzero temperatures caused stubborn frost to cling to the passenger windows of the car.

I get a little claustrophobic and panicky when I can’t see what’s going on around me. The only patch of horizon I could detect came from a tiny hole in the mass of frozen crystals. Everything else was a blur…”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/1346/

 

IMG_20170910_190144

#4: I Bought the Boots: Taking a Leap of Faith (All the Way to Colorado).

“The conversations I had with friends and family during that time were almost comical:

Person: ‘So where are you going?’

Me: ‘I don’t know exactly.’

Person: ‘Where will you stay?’

Me: ‘I don’t know.’

Person: ‘How will you get there?’

Me: ‘I don’t know.’

Person: ‘How much will it cost?’

Me: ‘I don’t know.’

Person: ‘Why are you going?’

Me: ‘Because God told me to.’

Person: *Concerned look and awkward silence.*”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/i-bought-the-boots-taking-a-leap-of-faith-all-the-way-to-colorado/

 

trunk

#5: A Trunk full of Boxes.

“I stood in front of the trunk of my car filled with boxes the other day, and I thought to myself with grateful bewilderment: ‘This isn’t me.’

I’m not the kind of person who leaves their comfort zone to move halfway across the country. I’m not the type of person who packs up all their belongings in the trunk of their car and moves to a different state with just enough confirmation to know God’s telling me to go, but not enough to know entirely why or what will happen when I get there…”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/a-trunk-full-of-boxes/

 

joshua-earle-8622-unsplash

#6: When God’s Call isn’t what You Thought it Would Be.

“Sometimes following God’s mission for your life isn’t a smile on your face or a beautiful view from a mountain top.

Sometimes it’s driving in the car as tears stream down your face, while your stomach churns with grief and longing.

Sometimes it’s frustration, discouragement, and fear, that seep into your consciousness and make your heart quiver with anxiety.

Sometimes it’s the last straw, the crushing blow, or the sheer size of the impossible looming over your head.

Sometimes it’s long days and dark nights, and blurred ink on tear-stained pages…”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/when-gods-call-isnt-what-you-thought-it-would-be/

 

jared-arango-571715-unsplash

#7: Finding Home.

“Home. That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. More specifically: Where is my home?

Is it Indiana? Is it Colorado? Is it somewhere else?”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2018/07/05/finding-home/

 

 

sam-manns-358058

#8: I Hate Waiting: Confessions of an Imperfect Christian Who’s Trying to Maintain her Sanity.

“I hate waiting with a vengeance. Maybe there’s some good little Christian out there who makes it through the waiting process without losing their grip on reality and collapsing onto the floor in sobs, but I am not that person.

I’m a total wimp in seasons of waiting. I’m weak. I’m confused. I get frustrated. I get angry. I get scared. And if I’m totally honest, focusing on God’s truth in a grueling season of bitter waiting just grates on my nerves. I don’t want to be mature. I don’t want to be calm, cool, or collected—I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON IN MY LIFE.”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/i-hate-waiting-confessions-of-an-imperfect-christian-whos-trying-to-maintain-her-sanity/

 

sergey-zolkin-1046-unsplash

#9: Letting God Mess with Me: The Day I got lost in the Woods.

“The other day I went hiking. It was supposed to be a period of extended time alone with God. The past few weeks He’d been laying some heavy things on my heart; He’d been challenging me in ways that terrified me, and this hiking trip was meant to be a day set aside to wrestle through these things with Him.

I wanted a break through. I wanted renewal. I wanted peace and clarity and some sense of direction. Instead I got lost. Literally.”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/letting-god-mess-with-me-the-day-i-got-lost-in-the-woods/

 

see God

#10: The Life I Never Thought I Could Live.

“Later that night I fell to my knees, overwhelmed by a longing stronger than anything I’d ever experienced before; the longing to see God in the land of the living; to live my life in such a way that I would see the power of God and reveal Him to others, just like so many saints throughout history.

From that moment God has invited me to live such a life. He has held out His hand and offered me the chance to experience Him and His power with every step of faith that comes my way.

He has worked miracles on my behalf. He has healed and provided and restored in ways my earthly mind never considered possible. He has filled my heart with a fiery passion to declare to the world that God is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do; and because of that, even the weary, war torn saint has a reason to hope; to live another day with vibrant faith in expectation of what God will accomplish through a surrendered heart for His kingdom.”

https://rewritten27.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/the-life-i-never-thought-i-could-live/

 

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! With God there is hope, and grace, and peace, and joy–and that’s a reason to celebrate! ❤

 

Merry Christmas

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Take Me Back

cross

 

Dear God,

Oh to go back to that place–before the world became so vague… before choices confounded and decisions loomed… before my heart felt pulled in so many directions… before my emotions hung upon what if’s and maybe so’s…

To go back to that woods, where You met me face to face… where You draped Your loving presence around my shoulders and held me close.

To stand before that cross, perhaps an afterthought to the one who made it–forgotten amidst the trees–yet such a precious place to me…

There, my heart learned how to surrender. There, my soul soared with hope. There, I embraced true joy for the very first time…

There, You were my confidant; my closest companion. There, You sent out Your Word and You healed me. You spoke and barriers broke; fears fell by the wayside.

There, I knew Your heart, and You held mine. There, I heard your voice. How You treasured mine…

There, I gave my life to You. Over and over again I surrendered, and with each relinquishment, You filled me with the power of Your Spirit…

Bring me back to that place of mind and heart. Let me be overcome by the sweetness of Your Spirit once again; captivated by Your voice; held safe in Your arms. ❤ 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Longing for a Hero

heart

 

There’s no such thing as heroes… no one’s coming to save you. You’re all alone…

 

Years ago I penned these words to myself through tears. My heart ached for a hero. I was starved for the love and affection of a father figure–or any man in my life period.

 

Bleeding wounds caused me to scavenge this attention from any man my emotions became attached to. But it was never enough. It never stopped the ache. It never erased the hurt. It never filled what seemed to be an endless cavern in my soul. 

 

Discouragement, hurt, and self-pity made me feel as if I was cursed. Like other people have these things–but I never will.

 

Then I came face to face with the living God. Then He showed Himself to me in a way that sunk to my very core; an image that could never be erased.

 

It was a long process–years in the making. Dark days and long nights. Times I sobbed so hard my whole body ached for days.

 

But slowly, like the calm after a storm, the light came, and with it healing. One by one, the wounds were healed. Day by day, the bloody gashes in my soul turned to scars; like bumpy lines, forever etched in my skin, but no longer bleeding. Permanent marks, ghastly at first glance, yet beholding their own form of beauty. They were no longer banners of brokenness, but testimonies of victory.

 

Throughout this whole process God revealed to me that He is more than some abstract idea or faraway being in the sky. He’s real. He’s living and breathing and He’s intimately invested in my life. He is the Father to the fatherless, and Defender of widows. He is more than a Hero; He is life and joy itself.

 

Toward the end of this rigorous season of healing, difficult circumstances struck once again. I found myself in that familiar place; needy, desperate, with a heart that ached for certain people in my life to be what I wanted them to be… I found myself wishing, If only I was one of them–if only I had what they had, then I wouldn’t have problems like this. I wouldn’t be so helpless…

 

And in that moment God asked me, “Do you want to see them move? Or do you want to see Me move?”

 

Despite my fractured daydreams, I knew I wanted to see HIM. I knew nothing could fill me up and satisfy my heart like an encounter with the Living God. I’d become addicted to this God of mine. I was captivated and entranced; in awe of this God whose love transformed my brokenness into beauty.

 

So I told Him I wanted Him most of all, and instead of trying to manipulate the people in my life to do what I yearned for them to do, I chose to trust Him. And He rescued me. Yet again. And He revealed His power and love in the process.

 

I still find myself longing for an earthly hero sometimes. When troubles come and circumstances overwhelm, I yearn for someone tangible to hold me; to rescue me; to tell me everything’s gonna be okay.

 

But in the silence, when the tears have been cried, and my heart has poured out all its hurts, I hear the still, calm voice of my Savior… He asks me to trust Him. He tells me if I hold on through the night, there will be joy in the morning. He reminds me of His love and His power and He strengthens my faith in His promises. And as the hurt fades, excitement comes. What was a devastating circumstance becomes an opportunity to see the Living God at work in my life, and I’m no longer afraid.

 

Jeremiah 20:11

“But the LORD is with me like a dread champion; therefore [the enemy] will stumble and not prevail” (NASB).

Psalm 68:4-6

“His name is the Lord–rejoice in His presence! Father to the fatherless, defender of widows–this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy” (NLT).

❤ ❤ ❤

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized