The Fervent Life is Officially LIVE!

God has been working in crazy ways and our new website is officially LIVE!

So hop on over to and check it out 🙂 If you’ve subscribed to Rewritten in the past you might consider subscribing to the new website as all future posts will be on there.

Thank you so much for your love and support all these years! It’s our prayer that The Fervent Life will bless believers by empowering them to live passionate lives for Christ!

–See ya over at The Fervent Life! ❤

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New Things are Coming…

It’s been quiet here for a while. Some of you might think I’ve stopped writing altogether.

The truth is, life has been pretty crazy. Multiple moves (some across the country), the pandemic, and oh yeah… getting married. 😉

But new things are coming! And we’re so excited. We are working on a new website called “The Fervent Life.” Lord willing, it will feature a blog, podcasts, Bible studies, daily devotions, etc.

We appreciate your prayers as we construct this new website and follow God’s lead on this new path of ministry.

Stay tuned…


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Why a Shattered Dream Saved My Life

We met at a picnic table at the park. I sat in my car after turning off the engine and I grabbed my notebook. I took a deep breath. I knew if I actually had the guts to read the words I’d written in that book outloud, that this might be goodbye…

But God had done so much in my life and transformed my heart to the extent that if this prospective relationship wasn’t from God I truly, genuinely, desperately didn’t want it.

So I went to the meeting place and waited. Not long after Chris showed up. We sat down and we talked. Our conversation ebbed and flowed until I pulled out the notebook. I begged God for courage and I told Chris that God had spoken some things very clearly to me. He had given me certain criteria necessary for any prospective relationship.

I knew it was weird. I knew some would think it was too intense. But I also knew God had radically saved my life and rescued me from the deepest form of darkness: Death. So how could I not give Him all of the rest of my life?

I opened the book and read the first item aloud. I told him that in order for me to ever enter into a relationship God had to give me complete and total peace that He had accomplished everything He had wanted to accomplish in and through my life as a single person.

If you’d known me years before you would know why it was such a huge miracle for me to be able to say those words.

Because years before I did not treasure my singleness like the gift it was. I did not see it as evidence of God’s love. On the contrary, I saw it as the opposite. I saw it as proof that God didn’t care about me; that He loved other people more than me. I saw it as evidence that I was damaged and unlovable and broken beyond repair. I saw it as a curse. Something keeping me from healing and joy.

But then God did something drastic. He crushed the hope of a relationship I had been cultivating in my heart for over eight years.

I thought I was doing everything right… but deep inside lies like thorns were wrapping their way around my fragile aching heart.

“We can tell if our desires have become idols, by how we feel when God doesn’t give them to us.” -Lina Abujamra

When God crushed my dreams I fell apart. Completely. Totally. Into despair. I dropped to my knees and sobbed in the rain in an empty parking lot. Screaming at heaven. Screaming at God. I told Him this broken dream hurt more than my dad’s suicide. Because at least in the wake of my dad’s death I still had hope. Hope of this relationship I clung to. Hope that I wouldn’t be alone. Hope that somehow that relationship would lead me to some semblance of a happy ending.

That hope had been destroyed. I had no hope left.

It’s embarrassing to write really. But if I’ve learned anything over the years it’s that every single human–at their deepest core–is wretchedly, achingly, needy.

Without God we decay into a pitiful mess of desperation and heartache and neediness.

But praise God we are never too needy for Him. In fact I believe He created us with this–what some would call– “design flaw” in order to bring about the greatest gift we could ever receive: an intimate, personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. One that grows ever deeper till eternity in unravelling depths of His love and grace.

God tore out my heart that day when I lost all hope of that relationship. But then He did something else. He healed my heart in ways I never thought were possible.

That potential relationship was the last idol I was clinging to in my healing process. The last thing I would not willingly let go of. I could surrender all else. But not that. Because that was my hope.

In the months following God opened my eyes to see that He and He alone is my hope. He is the One who heals me. He is the One who gives me joy and purpose and worth. He showed me that I was not damaged goods. That He had allowed my story for a reason, and that He had things planned for my future that were far greater than anything I ever could ever hope or imagine.

He also showed me that the person who knows the least what I need and what I want is me. God alone knows what is best for my life. And for the first time I chose to trust Him with it. All of it. Every aspect of it.

That season of darkness became a season of the deepest joy I have ever known. Years later because of that journey, I treasured the gift of life God had given me, AS He had given it to me. I realized that no human being could possibly be my hope, my healing, or my joy. Only God could. And that set me free. I was whole in Christ. Truly. Miraculously. And that realization brought a freedom sweeter than anything this life could ever offer. The possibilities were endless. Life had become an incomprehensible adventure with God. One rich in hope and joy and peace and the love of a Savior I could never stop revelling in.

We are wretchedly needy beings. In a constant search for something to fill us. One of the greatest areas we gravitate towards–one of our biggest idols–is relationships. Even we as Christians gloss over the clear words of Paul in 1 Corinthians and we reach for instead a Disney-esque version of life and relationships. One that’s all about finding our “soul mate.” The “one who completes us.”

The only being who will ever complete you is Jesus Christ. Any other expectation will lead to emptiness and disappointment.

We do not believe God’s words. That both marriage AND singleness are gifts from Him given to us for seasons and reasons only He knows.

Instead we blaze on ahead of His best plan for our lives. We curse the gift He gives us and we seek after what we think will make us happy. We manipulate situations and people. We force moments and decisions. Until we end up in a life we thought we wanted but one that hurts us more than we ever thought it could.

We don’t see singleness as a gift. And if we do, we see it as the gift no one else wanted. The one God bought at Goodwill at the bottom of the discount bin. We insult the Gift Giver and we take life into our own hands.

One might read this and think I must hate marriage. I don’t. I’m married to my best friend. Marriage is more joyful and more beautiful than I ever thought it could be.

But both my husband and I experienced seasons of broken dreams. God had to break both of our hearts in order to heal our wounds. In order to open our eyes and show us the truth. We both experienced a time of loss and grief and healing and peace and restoration and redemption and intimacy with God through the gift of singleness that radically changed everything about the rest of our lives.

So when I see people curse the gift of singleness God gave them; when I see them strive to get out of it by their own strength, when I see them try to skip steps and forgo deep, life-transforming healing in a precious season alone with God and try instead to get into a relationship as fast as possible (bleeding on the other person from their open wounds all the while) my heart breaks.

Because that gift of singleness–of being alone with God–is the reason I’m alive today. And what God did in that season transformed my heart completely and set my entire life on a different course.

My marriage would be a nightmare right now if God hadn’t crushed my dream all those years ago. If He hadn’t led me into that season alone with Him. So single people, please, know that this time of singleness isn’t a curse. It’s a gift. And it’s not one you want to throw in the trash the first chance you get. It’s valuable. It could change the course of your entire life if you let God accomplish all that He wants to through it. You can trust Him. You can trust the heart of the God who made you. Don’t lose heart. And don’t lose hope. He is at work. Right now. Where you are. And He loves you. Deeply. Wholly. Relentlessly.

Resources: Lina Abujamra,

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The Broken, Winding Road of Healing

Hours after I found out my father had committed suicide, I sat in my friend’s basement alone. Trying to grasp the reality of what was happening.

As I sat in that basement I was faced with a question: will I trust in God? Or will I curse Him and leave Him?

I remember peace flooding my heart as I realized everything else in my life was in shambles but I knew one thing: I knew God. I’d seen too much to forget. Where else would I go? I knew every other direction would be meaningless.

“I trust You…” I whispered into the empty room. “I don’t know what’s going to happen… I don’t know what my life is anymore… but I trust You. I’m not running. I’m holding onto You…”

That Sunday–a week later–I went to church. I knew many had heard the news. I could feel their eyes on me. I felt their concern. I felt their natural curiosity.

Worship began and I knew what I was going to do. I had decided before I’d entered the room. I got down on my knees, hands raised, and worshipped God. Publicly.

I wanted people to know the enemy hadn’t won. That God was still who He said He was and I still trusted Him. I wanted to publicly shame the enemy whose twisted lies had dug into my dad’s heart, and who had tried to force them into mine… I wanted the world to know that despite the heartache, and the pain, and the uncertainty, that my God was still good. And I still trusted Him. I still loved Him.

I wish I could say the entirety of my healing process was like this. But this was merely a moment of strength in a sea of grief…

I wish I could say I was always courageous. But my courage ebbed and flowed. And sometimes I felt too weak and scared and angry to carry on.

When the cleaning crew came to try and scrape my dad’s blood off the floor, I watched them arrive from my bedroom window. And I remember thinking as my heart grew cold “This is my life. I hate that this is my life…” Bitterness and anger and a jaded facade began to grow.

There were times I praised God for His provision despite our circumstances. There were times I sought the refuge of His presence. There were times I was filled with His forgiveness and mercy and love.

But there were also times I screamed and pounded my fists against the wall wishing I could pound them against God’s chest. There were times I accused Him with hatred in my heart of ruining my life.

There were times I was filled with bitter hatred towards my dad. Not just for how he’d left us, but for the dad he had never been. Times I wished he’d come back to life just so I could hurt him again and again.

There were times when fear almost consumed me. There were times when I got lost in the pitch black recesses of my own thoughts. There were times when suicide and depression haunted my mind. There were times when I was a miserable mess. Helpless. And achingly, bitterly, wretchedly lost.

I say this because healing can feel like this. A victorious overcoming… a bitter defeat. Two steps forward. Three steps back. Break throughs, and break downs. Picking up the pieces, and falling apart all over again.

But as wretched as the process is, joy does come in the morning. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is Jesus Christ. The dark clouds do fade. The gentle rain does wash the blood and tears away. The sun comes out. It warms your body and your soul. And you find peace in His arms.

And then you look back on the broken, winding road. And you realize He was with you all along. That all the times you felt like you were alone in the dark that He was walking right beside you.

That when the demons attacked and you were curled up on the floor in defeat, that He fought for you. That He broke their swords and disarmed their lies.

That He knelt over you and covered you, and protected you (Matt. 23:37).

That while you were sleeping He held you in His arms, close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11).

And as you rest on the other side of a season of healing you look back on these things, and you realize He never left you or forsook you. He never forgot you–though you feared He had.

And He brought the light. While you were unaware He bandaged your wounds. He healed your heart. He gave you joy. He redeemed. He restored. Most of all He loved. Fiercely. Intimately. Relentlessly.

Dear friend, if you are in the darkest season of healing, know that there is hope. There is restoration. There is freedom.

We do not do the work. We simply keep showing up. Keep reaching out to God. He does the rest. And He will bring the dawn in His perfect time.❤

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Small Beginnings: Pressing on when You want to Quit

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The number one reason I give up on stuff is because I don’t see visible progress.

I give up on working out and eating healthy because I don’t see any visible change in my body right away.

I give up on habits to further my spiritual walk because no “aha!” moments occur in the first few attempts.

I give up on writing because I don’t see it taking off as soon as I want it to.


Why We Hate Small Beginnings


Humans hate small beginnings. We love one hit wonders. We love prodigies who blow everyone else away at the first attempt.

We are fascinated by instant success. We even cry with emotion when a kid on a talent show shows up with the chops of a seasoned adult.

We like to skip steps. We like to take shortcuts. We like to break through boundaries and soar past the competition.

We don’t like to wait. We loathe the mundane. We dread the necessary details that must bind together to create a journey.

Small beginnings make us feel weak. Small beginnings make us fear our dreams might not happen after all.

And maybe they won’t. Maybe my dreams won’t happen the way I want them to. But that’s not my business. It’s God’s.


The Purpose for Small Beginnings


God creates small beginnings for a reason. He carves out a path of small successes for a purpose: to capture our hearts.

For when we are weak and helpless He meets us there. His power is made evident in our weaknesses.

And when we close our eyes and put one foot in front of the other, squeezing His hand along the way like a little child, we get the opportunity to abide in His presence. To walk close to Him. To feel His hand in ours. To lean against His chest.

And we get to see God move. Joshua 3:10 says “Today you will know that the living God is among you” (NLT).

The Israelites were going off to war. They were scared to death. But God was with them. And He wanted them to KNOW it. To see His power at work; a wondrous display of His mighty love for them.

Small beginnings refine our motives. Small beginnings strip us of our pride and self-sufficiency. Small beginnings deepen our dependence on God and, in turn, our relationship with Him. And that’s more important than all the success in the world.


Zechariah 4:10

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (NLT). 


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At My Father’s Grave

Forgiveness grave


On the way to the airport the day I left for Colorado I did something I’d only done once before in six years: I visited my dad’s grave.

I remember telling my mom six years prior, the week after my dad’s death, that the only reason I would ever go to his grave would be to pour gasoline on it, light the grass on fire, and pray to God he could feel the searing pain of the flames… the kind of pain I was feeling. The kind of pain my mom and my brothers were feeling.

Maybe that shocks some of you. Maybe that doesn’t sound very Christian. But then again, when you’re reeling from trauma and bleeding emotional wounds, and your entire life seems to have fallen into a thousand broken shards that graze your skin and slice through the tender most parts of your heart, sometimes you don’t act very Christian.

A Legacy of Brokenness

For years I blamed my dad for my scars. I blamed him for all my damaged pieces. I blamed him for the gaping holes in my heart; the bitter longings for a father that would never be satisfied. And when he left us; when he committed suicide after a life-long struggle with addiction, depression, and abusive anger, I blamed him for my lost future.

I remember telling friends it seemed as if my dad had played Russian roulette with my future—with all of our futures. We were down to our last thousand dollars the week after his funeral. We were drained of our finances, and had bills to pay. We had no idea what would happen next and we feared the worst.

This Thing Called Grief

I will never say suicide is the worst kind of grief. But I will say it is a different sort of grief. There are so many emotions, including some that aren’t pretty; the kind people feel uncomfortable talking about in Christian circles. Like bitterness. And apathy. And furious, boiling anger.

For years I told myself, “If only my dad hadn’t done what he did, I wouldn’t be such a mess….” If only he hadn’t told me years ago he wished I’d never been born, maybe I wouldn’t struggle with so much self-loathing or be stuck with so many unhealthy emotional coping mechanisms.

If only he hadn’t chosen vices like alcohol and illegally obtained prescription drugs—things that made him act like a monster and hurt his family so much, maybe I wouldn’t have all this baggage.

If only he hadn’t told us day after day that he “could’ve been successful” if only he didn’t have to provide for us. If only he hadn’t made having a wife and kids seem like such a torturous burden maybe I wouldn’t have so many issues with relationships and family and the idea of motherhood… maybe I could actually want to be a mother.

If only he hadn’t been so volatile and unpredictable, maybe I wouldn’t have this innate, protective, reaction to turn off my emotions when I’m around people. Maybe I could feel more what others seem to be able to feel so easily.

If only… if only… if only… and with every “if only” my heart grieved and agonized. Each time I said those words it made me feel more damaged and hopeless than before.

There were days I tried to love; to forgive… but most days I screamed till my lungs burned at a dead man who couldn’t do a thing to fix my broken, damaged heart.

At His Grave

Fast forward years later and I stood at his grave. My bags were packed. I was doing something the old me never would’ve dared to do, and was setting out on what would become a life-changing adventure. But there was something I needed to do first…

I stood in front of his grave with a crumpled piece of paper in my hand that I laid on the cold flat stone. On it I had penned the words God had led my hand to write: “I forgive you.”

I’d crumpled the paper first; distorting its shape and bending its edges because I wanted whoever might see it to know that it wasn’t an easy thing to write… because forgiveness isn’t easy.

It’s not crisp and clean and neat and simple. It’s a long, hard, difficult, gut-wrenching, soul-tearing, bondage-breaking journey; and it requires the power and love of God Himself.

The Healing Journey

You see during those bitter years of thrashing my way through the healing cycle, God did an incredible work in me. Not only did He weep with me and grieve with me over the pain and hurt I’d experienced, but He fought for me against the lies; against the enemy who wanted to poison my mind and destroy me. He tore apart the lies that had wound their sharp tendrils around my heart like a vine of thorns. He taught me what identity meant and who I was in Him because of His love, and how that love could change my life.

He disintegrated my own self-destructive cycles with the healing power of His love. He freed me from the bondage of my own mind with His truth. He showed me the power of His grace, and as that happened, my life was forever changed.

I went from a girl who wallowed in dark emotions almost every night, to a girl who found herself pulling over on the side of the road, getting out of the car and falling to her knees in sobs because the joy of the love of God, and the realization of His grace, was too overwhelming to grasp.

He gave me a new hope, a new future, and a new way of living. He showed me that nothing is impossible for one who seeks and follows the Lord. That no one who “trusts in [Him] will ever be disgraced” (Psalm 25:3, NLT).

He showed me that what the enemy intends for evil, He can use for good. He takes even the painful consequences from people’s sins, and open doors, and creates dry paths through the sea. Paths to restoration. Paths to healing. Paths to good things. He restores. He transforms. He redeems.

A Reason to Hope

He showed me there is always hope. Teeming, bursting, brimming, inexhaustible storehouses of hope because of His name. He showed me that He is the God of the impossible. That he is real, and alive, and active, and He longs to be intimately involved in every believer’s life, and because of that we have nothing to fear.

He taught me that He completes me. That He restores everything the enemy steals. That He breathes life where there was death and gives beauty in the place of ashes. He taught me that because of Jesus Christ, I have victory over every trial, every difficulty, every obstacle.

I mentioned earlier in this post that I had been to his grave once before. It was in the midst of the deepest, darkest depression I’d ever experienced. That day 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?”

And as my heart feared there would be no answer, He replied in a still, small voice, “Because this broken man in the ground is not your father. I am. The legacy of brokenness has been swept away. In Me you have a legacy of victory and freedom. Because of My Son Jesus, you have become My child, and as such, you have been given power–the very power that raised my Son from the dead–to choose a better way of life; to choose Me.”

That day spawned a journey of choosing God. Of choosing life. Of choosing victory in His name. That day began the long process of realizing there are no victims in Jesus Christ. If I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior then I am not a victim anymore. Yes, I may still struggle with the effects of brokenness, but brokenness doesn’t have to win.

There’s a way out. There’s a way to find healing. There’s a way to find restoration for my soul, and His name is Jesus. And the work He does in my heart no one else can do. The places He fills no one else can fill. I am not alone. I am not forsaken. I am not cursed. I have everything I need to break free. It’s not easy. It’s not simple. Sometimes it seems unbearable but there is freedom none the less. And there is joy.


As God used His healing scalpel on my heart with the finesse of a skillful surgeon, I realized I had hope. And that kind of hope no one could ever steal from me. That hope enabled me to forgive. And to forgive again.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean a restored relationship. That requires two willing parties. I will never be able to experience that sort of relationship with my dad. That door has been irreversibly closed. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget what happened—that the memories don’t sometimes sting. Nor does it mean that the hurt is no longer real. Forgiveness means to release a debt. Because there is a very tangible debt owed. Some that can never be repaid by earthly means.

My dad can never go back and give me the father I always wished I had. He cannot repay stolen memories, or repair my damaged psyche. He cannot restore what was broken, or give me what never had the chance to be. But God can. God can restore all those losses and fill all those holes with Himself. With His love. And His love is better than life itself.

My God is the God of the impossible. And He has showed me this time and time again. I used to think I was a victim of whatever circumstances I was dealt. But that is not true. Because with my God, I can ALWAYS overcome. Because of Him I can never be hindered by chance, destroyed by chaos, or ruined forever by another human’s actions. Because of Christ, I can overcome even the most impossible odds.

I used to blame my dad for my brokenness. But even more so I blamed him for what I thought I could never be. Healed. Restored. Redeemed. Those are things I thought could never happen to me.

But I was wrong. God has shown me that healing, and restoration, and redemption, IS possible. I’m still a work in progress but the work God has done in my heart to this day has convinced me of these truths. He has done the impossible in my life. And He will continue to prove Himself faithful.

As I walked up to my dad’s grave a year or so ago with note in hand, there was a bittersweet joy in my heart. Bitter because I mourned the fact that my dad never let God in. He never allowed God’s love to fully penetrate his heart. And because of that, he never tasted the hope he could’ve had in Christ. And my heart was moved with compassion towards him.

The sweetness though came from the realization that I had been set free in so many ways with many more to come in the future. I was doing things my old wounds never would’ve allowed me to do. I was stepping out in faith. I was daring to do the things I never thought my broken damaged heart from years before would ever let me do.

My dad no longer owed me a debt, because God did in my heart what he never could do. He provided for me in ways my earthly father never could. He filled me in ways no human could ever manage to. My dad—my broken, hurting, human dad could never do for me what Christ had done. And that realization set me free.

It cleared away the anger and bitterness. It gave me new eyes filled with compassion. I’d experienced a joy so complete in Christ that no human effort could ever come close. And instead of hating my dad, I found myself wishing with a tender heart that he could’ve experienced these things himself.

My dad had his own scars. He had been hurt. He had been abused. He had been betrayed and broken. And as God led me through my own healing process He gave me eyes to see the obstacles my dad himself faced. Not that he didn’t have the power to choose better. But I can now recognize the weight that made those choices so difficult.

Hours later I would be in a new state. In a new adventure. Doing new things I’d never done before. I was a new person. And that was all because of Christ. He had convinced me body and soul that nothing could ever steal away my future because the hope for my future is found in Him alone. Thus the charges against my dad were dropped. The lies that fueled hatred were defeated by God’s truth. And even though I may still struggle sometimes with the emotions and the after effects, they can never steal my hope. I cannot unsee what I’ve seen. I cannot unknown what I’ve known. And that is, with God, nothing—even the healing of a damaged heart—is impossible.



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When You have no Idea Where You’re Going



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).


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


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. ❤ 


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To the Christian Who Messed Up



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, or check them out on Facebook (, and instagram (

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


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Chasing Mountains



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. ❤


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