You Are Not Enough…


About a week ago, I got in my car and headed to the bank. On my way there, I was having a conversation in my head, half praying, half talking. “God, If you just open this door, I’ll be happy. That’s all I want”

Before I go on, I am ashamed to admit this, but I felt like I should. It’s not about perfection. It’s about being honest about imperfections, in order for God to shine. To see His beauty and patience in my ugly day to day mess.

So after submitting my grand idea to God to open a door, a thought popped into my head. “No, we’d still be having this conversation; you’d just want something else”. I sat there thinking for a moment. It was true.

Have you ever prayed and asked God for something? After waiting and praying and praying some more, you still don’t see it. I have been praying. I have been asking. I have been knocking. I’ve been doing the next thing.

But, without even realizing what I had actually done, I was telling God that He wasn’t enough, at least for me. It’s not that I don’t believe God can answer. I have seen Him answer prayers for my friends and family. I have seen Him be enough for others, but for me, lately, He has not been enough. Why? Because I was not giving Him enough time to be enough for me. I’ve allowed distractions and ambitions to cloud my thinking and occupy the time that God used to have.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”… I shall not want.

Yet, I found myself wanting. I found myself trying to get God to solve my problem through other means, instead of through Himself.

The question, for me, was not if God is enough. The question is, is God enough for me?

For you, it could be: I know God can heal, but can He heal me? Or, I know He can provide, but can He provide for me? Or, I know He can do exceedingly abundantly beyond what I can ask or think, but can He do that for me?

Our relationship with God is partially about what He can do for others. But, it’s mostly, about knowing what He has done and can do for us.

At the end of my life, I am responsible for how I lived. I want to live satisfied in God alone. I know other things won’t satisfy. I could land the dream job, get a spouse, start the family, start a business, and still be empty. I know this. And it’s not like I wasn’t content before. Last year, around this time, I was losing everything, except God, and He was enough. Yet, a year later, I find myself floundering, treading water, wondering when I’m going to feel a rock for me to stand on.

I’m also learning that life is a journey. I don’t need to beat myself up for having to relearn a lesson. The Christian life is not about learning it once and moving on. Some things we have to learn and relearn.

This week, I became a Green Belt in Karate. I started the first phase of material this week as well. There are things in this phase of green belt that I learned when I was working towards my yellow belt. I am relearning the techniques from the material I learned a few months ago.

I think God allows us to relearn lessons because we never “arrive”. We are always learning. Some things are new, and some things we relearn.

So in this season of waiting, knocking and praying, I am asking God to teach me that He is enough for me.

Because God knows me better than I know myself, He hasn’t allowed what I want, to show me what I need. He knows that I need this lesson. He wants to be the one I take refuge in. He is the only Rock that will not crumble. He is the only one who will not disappoint, and He is the only one who will ever be enough for me.

So, I want to encourage you today, because this is what I am called to do, encourage (1 Thessalonians 5:11). If you feel you have drifted, as we all have from time to time; take a moment to come back. God is gracious. He LONGS to show compassion (Isaiah 30:18). Come to Him. He is waiting. He wants to help. He is the Lifter of our heads. He is the strength we need. He is the wisdom we need. He is the Healer we need. He is the love we are looking for. He is the filler He is waiting. Don’t run away, run back to Him. He does not condemn you. He loves us even more than we can ever even fathom.

Song of the week: Even If, by Mercy Me  (Listen Here)

 “I know You’re able and I know You can  Save through the fire with Your mighty hand  But even if You don’t  My hope is You alone  I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt  Would all go away if You’d just say the word  But even if You don’t  My hope is You alone”

Demolishing & Rebuilding Our Comfort Zones

I was comfortable behind the computer responding to messages from people who wrote in. That was what I was hired to do until the opportunity to go to Africa came into the picture.

I thought for sure the rest of the team would go, and I would remain back to “hold down the fort”.

Nope! I was not only expected to go, but also to plan it. Oh, and instead of our team of just four people, it would be a team of nine!

Another time, I had the opportunity to go to Turkey, where I would be giving a short presentation. Two weeks before my departure date, the Turkish military shot down a Russian Jet. Oh, and when I arrived in Amsterdam, CNN news was reporting that the American Consulate in Istanbul shut down because of unrest.

I could go on and on about stories of how my comfort zone is continually wrecked. Lately, things have not been that extreme, but there are still things that abrupt my comfort zone (Definition: 1. The temperature range within which one is comfortable, 2. The level at which one functions with ease and familiarity)

Just last week something happened that made me feel less than someone else. Have you ever experienced that? It could be a number of things:

  • A corporation didn’t see you as a good fit
  • A person of the opposite sex decided not to pursue you, or they did and then stopped.
  • A friend gets noticed by others while you’re standing beside them
  • Someone else got the promotion you were working towards
  • Another mom’s kids received something you hoped your kid would get noticed for

The list could go on and on. Last week, I experienced that feeling. Thank God that I was at church and worship started. The band started playing one of my new favorite songs: Worthy of Your Name by Passion (Listen Here).

As I began singing, that feeling faded. Instead of feeling less, I felt accepted. I realized right then, that God allows us to have our comfort zone demolished because He wants our comfort zone to be in Him.

He knows the dangers we face when we find comfort in our jobs, friends, family, or ourselves. Those things cannot sustain us because they are temporary and they change. He is eternal and unchanging.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
Psalm 46:1-5

So, if you’re feeling uncomfortable, there is a reason for it. God loves you enough to demolish your comfort zone in the temporary in order for you to rebuild it in Him, the eternal.

So whatever you’re facing, remember that God is all we need. He is a good Father, a faithful Friend, a kind Pursuer, a patient King. He is a persistent Redeemer, a courageous Lion, a defender of the weak, the peace and comfort for the weary.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

I am learning to be thankful for my “uncomfortable” moments because He is retraining me to seek Him. Hang in there Friends and stay hopeful and fearless <3!

Song of the week:

When I’m With You by Ben Rector

Verse1: I go a little crazy sometimes
Can you believe it?
Yeah, I swear I’m fine, that I’m alright
When I’m barely breathing
Thought I could find my way back home
But I get lost alone

Chorus: But when I’m with you
I’m no longer wandering
And when I’m with you,
I swear I can breathe
When I’m with you,
I know who I am and who I want to be

Verse 2: I’m not trying to be dramatic, no
Most times I’m pretty normal
Oh, but let’s be clear and honest here
And do away with anything formal
I can fake it on my own,
but I am lost alone

Chorus: But when I’m with you
I’m no longer wandering
And when I’m with you,
I swear I can breathe
When I’m with you,
I know who I am and who I want to be

Bridge: I am wide-eyed
With a penchant for running
But how many times does it take ’till I find that I’m lost when I’m alone
And that’s not where I belong

… ‘Cause when I’m with you I’m no longer wondering…

You Matter

I woke up this morning only to see the headline: “Aaron Hernandez, a former NFL player, found dead in prison cell”
 
Part of me wishes I could have visited him last night. I wish I could have asked him how he was holding up. I wish I could have listened to his struggle. I wish I could have told him that there was still hope for his life, and that he had value.
 
I know this man was a murder, but so am I. I have hated someone in my heart and in Jesus’ eyes, that’s considered murder (1st John 3:15).
 
But, even when I was alone, at my lowest, Jesus met me. He didn’t shun me. He helped me. I wish I could have let Aaron know that there was a solution. He wasn’t alone. He didn’t need to take his life.
 
Most of all I wished I could have told him that he mattered. Maybe, after the death of his dad, when Aaron was 16, he felt as though he didn’t matter. Maybe he thought that if his dad couldn’t see him and approve him, he would be reckless. I don’t know.
Maybe he never felt good enough. Maybe he didn’t feel like he would ever measure up. Maybe he was just trying to find his identity, where he fit.
 
Since I can’t tell him, I want to tell you… YOU matter.
I don’t know what you have gone through in your life. Maybe you have always been overlooked. Or, you’ve suffered with a long term illness. Or, you have always had to work so hard for what you have and never quite had enough. Maybe you’ve been abandon, cheated on, abused.Or maybe, like Aaron, you lost your dad at a critical age. Maybe it wasn’t by death, but through mental illness.
 
But… YOU MATTER!
 
Even if the whole world says to you, you don’t have value. I know someone who endured the world’s cruelty in order for you to have someone to stand by you in the darkest of nights.
 
You, my dear friend, are precious. You have worth. You are priceless.
 
Don’t listen to the lies that say:
  • You’re not good enough.
  • Your deserved what (the abuse) you got
  • You won’t amount to anything
  • You are better off dead
 
No, you’re better off alive. You have a story to tell. You have experiences that others could benefit from. You are unique and your DNA says that there is NO ONE like you.
 
I know life can be hard, but don’t give up. Don’t give in. If you’re struggling, please reach out to someone close. You can reach out to me too.
 
You matter! Yes, YOU matter!

The Beckoning for Reckoning

 

Thinking about it was driving me mad. The question of “why” haunted me like the Black Plague. “What did I do?”, “How could this happen?” The questions were numerous and the answers were nil.

 

I couldn’t take it anymore. I told myself that instead of asking questions, I need to think of the situation as dead. I couldn’t raise this relationship from the grave. It was out of my hands. I had done what I knew to do, but I could not fix it. For my own sanity, I viewed everything about that season of my life as dead.

 

I know that sounds morbid, but when someone is dead, you don’t try to pick that person out of their coffin. Their life is done (unless God wanted to work a miracle). The same was true for me. I had tasted not a physical death, but a death nonetheless. There was only silence, unanswered questions, and deep grief.

 

Yesterday in church, as we sang “Resurrecting” by Elevation Worship. I thought of many relationships I know of that have experienced a severing. A severing between a wife and a husband. A severing between a parent and a child, and a severing between close friends.

 

These severings have resulted in a death. The death of a marriage, the death of a unified family, the death of a friendship.

 

As I continued to sing, I got choked up. Broken relationships are not something you get over, but you can get through it. You learn to live without “them”. It’s like a heavy spot in your heart. You don’t always think about it, but when you do, it brings tears to your eyes.

 

Then I thought about how God feels. He knows that hurt too well. When Adam and Eve sinned that broke their perfect relationship with God. They experienced a severing in their relationship with God. That sweet fellowship, sweet union shattered into a million pieces. The repair was more than Adam and Eve could fix in their finite bodies and wisdom. But God, in order to reconcile His children back into fellowship, severed His perfect relationship with the Son. So, the morning Jesus stepped out of that grave, death was no more. He won. One severing brought death, The second severing brought life.

 

God’s heart is for reconciliation.

 

This side of eternity encompasses death and brokenness, but I never have to be without hope. If reconciliation does not come in my lifetime, I can cling to the fact it will in the next. God sent Jesus to reconcile me to the Father. I know that nothing is too hard for him. He can reconcile my broken relationships and those broken relationships of my dear friends. If not now, then later.

 

  • “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10

 

  • “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.” Colossians 1:19-22

 

  • “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

 

… and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation…

The Gentle Hand of Pressure

I sat around a circle of mostly strangers as we sang praise music outside. There were people from all walks of life and nationalities. We had gathered in my friend’s backyard for a night of praise.

 

As I sat there, I couldn’t help but think where I was last year. I would have just been arriving in Jordan.  I also thought of where I could have been this year as well. I could have been unpacking my things in California.

 

Last year, I had a job which allowed me to travel –A LOT! Had you told me then, that I would be sitting outside in Florida with new friends, and a lot of people I don’t know well. And that I turned down a job opportunity in California. I would have  thought you were crazy.

 

The season I am in has been one of transition, but I don’t know what’s next. I keep praying for direction. I have been open to opportunities that have presented themselves. But, it feels like it’s just been a lot of waiting.

 

Waiting for what’s next. Waiting on God to bring a spouse. Waiting for the road I am supposed to travel on next – waiting.

 

As I sat there tonight, heavyhearted, a picture came to mind. Before I get there, I need to tell you some of the thoughts I have had prior to tonight.

 

The past month or so, God keeps reminding me that my life journey is not about nailing a successful job. Or, becoming a wife or mother, or becoming “something”. It’s about becoming more like Christ. So, when I start to get frustrated about the waiting, and am anxious about the unanswered questions. He reminds me I am on a journey to become more like Him. Becoming more like Him is dying a little bit each day. Dying to my desires. Dying to my plan. Dying to what I think I should be.

 

The verse that came to mind tonight was Isaiah 64:8 “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand”

 

The picture that came to mind was not of me hitting a wall, but hitting my Father’s hand. That pressure, I believe, is His hand molding my life.

 

It reminded me of when a Father stops his child from doing something. Just today, I put out my hand to stop a kid from running. Sometimes, that pressure is to keep us still. It is not a punishment,but an act of love — An act that has our best in mind.

 

As I sat there singing tonight, it felt like a sprinkle of water, keeping my clay soft, so God could continue to mold me. Without water, my clay would harden. Without worship in my spiritual life, I would harden up. Without the pressure of my Father’s hand, I would be a simple lump of clay – useless.

 

But in the waiting, and in the pressure, God is forming me to the image of His Son. Tonight, I am able to thank God for the allowing me to wait. I was able to thank Him for the unanswered questions, the singleness, and for the job opportunity I felt I was to pass on. Because it’s not about the waiting, spinning, pressure, and the multiple change of plans. It’s about seeing His hand molding me. His plan is greater than I can even comprehend. This is his work of art, not mine, and I know He will make more use of it than I ever could.

 

So whatever you’re facing, know that it is bigger than you. The pressure, the sorrow, the unanswered questions, the sickness, whatever it is, God is molding our lives through it. I cannot wait until we see Him face to face. I am sure, we will be able to see behind the scenes of all the times we didn’t understand. It will be a beautiful thing. But until then, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness” Psalm 37:3

 

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

“Oh, Oh, Hey, Ms. Christi” — Another Sweet Reminder

“Oh, oh, hey Ms. Christi” I heard a sweet little voice say; knowing immediately who had greeted me. I turned and said, “Hey, Buddy, How are you?”

I currently work at an after school program. We have roughly 35 kids on our roster, but average about 20 kids per day. I know you’re not supposed to have favorites, but it’s hard not to.

This kid, who I often refer to as Buddy, has taught me a lot.

Every day he comes in he almost always says, “Oh, oh, hey Ms. Christi”. Although he can bring challenges (what kid doesn’t), he reminded me of an important lesson.

You see, he is autistic. He spends a lot of his time talking to himself, and living in a world that is his own. One day, I heard him say, “You failed, you’re stupid”.

Buddy tends to act out what has happened to him. You quickly learn what type of day he is having if you listen to what he says. So, when I heard him say, “you’re stupid” I realized there is not much difference between someone who is autistic, and someone who isn’t.

The difference is those who are autistic verbalized their thoughts. Those who aren’t tend to keep their thoughts to themselves. I don’t know about you, but I have called myself stupid more times that I can count. I have said that I’m a failure more often than I care to say.

I realize there are other differences, but when it comes to our identities, we are not that different. I read a quote that, upon reading it, brought me to tears. It says this:


In this journey called life we all tend to get tied up with what we do, how much we make, how we live, or how we are measuring up.

I read an article that said if we were measuring Jesus’ life by our view of “success” His life would be a complete failure. His family didn’t understand Him. His disciples abandoned Him. He had no place to lay His head. And to top it all off, He died a criminal’s death.

But, through in His father’s eyes, He was a complete success. He conquered death. He broke the curse of sin. He brought reconciliation. He exemplified love.

Jesus didn’t have a 401k. He didn’t have a home. He did not own his own transportation. He even had to borrow a mule to ride into the city on Palm Sunday. He was a King without glory, without honor, without “worldly” means.

Yet, you and me, we were and are the object of His affection. He sacrificed all the “pleasures of this world” for you and me. He allowed Himself to be rejected so we could be accepted. He allowed Himself to be viewed as “guilty” so that we would be exonerated from our sin. He became despised (in the eyes of the world) so that we would know we are His treasure. So, Instead of self rejection, we could hear that we are His Beloved. We are His Delight (Isaiah 62:4).

So when you and I face the temptation to say to ourselves, “You’re a failure” remember:

It is not about what we do.

It is not about how old we are, how young we are.

It is not about what others say.

It is not even what we say.

It only matters what He says.

My Friends, He says we’re enough. When He said “It is finished”, We, as His Children, became flawless.

He doesn’t see you for who this world says you are. He sees you as complete in Him. He sees you as His Masterpiece – His poem.

You are not a failure. You are not stupid. You are His Beloved and nothing you do or don’t do will ever change that!

Navigating Through Land Mines

It hits you out of nowhere. Suddenly these triggers send tears pouring out of your eyes from the what feels to be the deepest part of you.

 

You hold your chest, hoping that the pain inside will somehow go away. Maybe, if you hold on to it long and hard enough, your broken pieces will come back together.
You don’t care about the people in the parking lot around you as you wheeze through the sobs. Trying to control yourself, yet knowing, it’s useless. A dam has broken. This pain needs to come out somehow. You haven’t cried in so long because you grew weary of it. 

Triggers.

Have you been there? Have you set foot on an emotional IED? Have you found yourself crying uncontrollably, not being able to pull yourself together?
I have. It is a hard place to be. It’s a battle to focus on truth. It’s a battle to pick yourself back up after a beating by a storm surge of emotions. You feel as though you’re sucked back to the place you never wanted to be again.
When you’ve experienced pain induced by someone, the aftermath is like walking through a land field. 

Before the harm took place, you walked carefree, and without worry. Then someone overstepped their bounds. They entered your life and caused damage. All of a sudden your world becomes pitted with bombs waiting to go off. You have to navigate through an emotional flare up. 

You walk cautiously, looking around. You step slowly. You try to figure out if the ground looks tampered with. But sometimes, no matter how cautious you or I may be, our other foot hits a mine. We find yourself trying to put yourself together again. Trying to calm yourself down you say, “They didn’t mean it”, “They aren’t the person who damaged you”. 

But anything could trigger an explosion. A trip to the nail salon. A car ride. A trip. A word spoken. A situation. A closed room. As you navigate each explosion, you quickly learn where the triggers are. In a sense, you have to learn, pray and strive after being carefree and trusting again.

If you have been under or around someone who did damage to you, I want to say, I am so very sorry. I’m sorry you have to not just feel the pain in the instance, but also years later.
Life is messy and people are broken. We all know from one extent to another the deep wounds we can experience at the hands of another. Let’s be honest, our world is broken..

If you find yourself in this situation of mining through your triggers, I want you to know that you will have more emotional IEDs. However, I want you to know that while you’re crying, God sees. He is with you through the sobs and wheezing. He is holding your broken pieces. He is truthful. He won’t mess with your mind. In fact, He tells us, “In this world you WILL have troubles”. He also says, “but I have overcome the world”. Yes, He has overcome our broken world.

None of us wish for brokenness. We want to remain whole, but I am learning that the deeper we are hurt, the more our heart expands.

 

Each scenario we face, when we surrender it to God, can be used to help someone else. So although we don’t like hitting land mines, we don’t have to fear them. God knows how to use them for our good and His glory.

 

Remember the worst thing in life is not a broken heart, but a callous one.

 

I heard a song say, “Love as if there were no such thing as a broken heart” (Old dominion). That’s my goal. I am broken, but I’m not useless, in God’s economy that means He can remake me, making me more useful! What someone may have seen as trash, God sees as treasure. What someone may have seen as weak, God sees as strong. What someones else may have seen as an easy target, God sees as a heart to cherish and pursue.

 

Don’t give up friends. We need each other, and we all need more love. Maybe our brokenness is the gateway for more love to occur.

  • “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10
  • “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” 1 John 4:10
  • “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” Psalm 103:8
  • “The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” Jeremiah 31:3
  • “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you” Isaiah 43:4-5

 

When you feel as though you can’t!


I went to the back of my closet and started to pull out the clothes I have hardly looked at in 8 months.

I put on about four different outfits trying to find the one that would be that much better than the rest. Practical, but professional!

As I thought about this new opportunity, doubt, insecurity and fear rose to the surface. Those infamous “what if” questions started plaguing my mind.

I can’t do this, can I? How? I know I did it once, but I don’t know if I can do it again. What if I can’t handle it? What if it goes south and I have to come crawling back home? What if I am not able to keep up with the demands? What if my boss isn’t pleased with my performance?

The new opportunity seemed to lay under the wet blanket of those “what ifs”. My friends and family say I can do it, and that id do fine, great, and amazing…

So, the day came, I felt like I had taken one step on the field… Then, the hard part came…

He asked. “What are your fears”

I paused …then answered… 

“That I will be ripped to shreds”

“I won’t do that”

I almost cried because the thought of stepping back into the same “game”. That “game” tore my heart wide open. Thinking of going back in seems inconceivable.

Part of me wanted to run in the other direction. I wanted to stand up and yell, “You don’t understand. I just can’t do it again”.

I felt destroyed when I walked away and now I’m staring the same opportunity in the face.

The wounds have skin covering the cuts to my heart, but it is still so sensitive. The mention of a few words, or a few people, or situations leave me with knots in my stomach…

I decide to take a deep breathe… I tell myself I need to be brave…

The fact is I am not destroyed.

The fact is God is not finished with me yet. 

The fact is I am not in charge of the outcome.

The fact is… I can’t, but with Christ, I can.

He is the one who has gifted me and He wants to use those gift, but I cannot let fear dictate my decisions. I cannot shrink back… God deserves my everything, my life, my all. That includes the broken pieces and sensitive wound 

He didn’t hold back or self protect from me. I cannot do that to Him.

I’ve got to step out knowing He is a God who was the one who caught me when I fell. He was the one who carried me to my healing. He is the one who entered my broken world to show me that He never leaves me. He can handle my brokenness because He himself was broken for me. He is trustworthy, and because of Him I can trust again.

So my friends, if you’re starring that “thing” in the face. If you’re starring the car in the face that nearly took your life, or the one of a friend. If you’re starting a similar situation where you were left devastated or depleted. Or, you’re facing a broken relationship or whatever you are facing…

Know this, to overcome these hurdles, we’ve got to open up those closed closet doors. We need to pull our jersey back out and one arm at a time, one leg at a time, one step at a time get back in the game. If the tears come… let them fall.. there is no shame in broken pieces it’s a part of life.

God is bigger than our deepest wounds. He has gifted you in unique ways. It is often in those gifting that the enemy tries to destroy us because he wants us to quit.

It’s hard, but we’ve got to tell our fears to shove it, and let God’s love to fill the spots of panic.
My friends, we can’t, but God can… Don’t quit… Don’t let fear hold you back anymore. You cannot truly live when you’re held back by fear. Fear is like a balling around a ball and chain around your ankle. Keeping you from the heights God wants you to soar.  

Live fearlessly knowing you’re loved unconditionally

Nothing can tamper with Gods love for you. Through it all, God is with us. He is the one in the stands cheering you on as you step back on that field. He’s rooting for you and He’s rooting for me…

With Christ, our can’t is changed to can!

The Faces I Cannot Forget

***This is dedicated to the Iraqi family I met in Jordan almost a year ago, and to all the refugees scattered all over the world…

I attempted to write a poem about your suffering … 

Then I realized….

I don’t know what it’s like…

I don’t know the fear you lived every time you heard the whistle of a missile. 

I don’t know the panic you endured when you’d hear the destruction of another home… praying it wasn’t someone you knew…. 

I don’t know how many tears you cried… Or how many you couldn’t anymore after you lost loved one after loved one, friend after friend. 

I don’t know how many unseen wounds you carry around on a daily basis… 

I don’t know how if feels to not only lose friends and loved ones, but also your country….

I don’t know how it feels to lose a livelihood, freedom and choice…

I don’t know how it feels to be at the mercy of another people group – another country…

I don’t know how it feel to be stripped away from the language you and your family have spoken for generations, and now having to learn a new one…. 

I’m sorry I have not understood … I cannot imagine your pain… I don’t know what it’s like to suffer like you have, but I know one who did… 

I pray that in the midst of your pain… in the midst of this dark hour… you would know you’re not alone… The one who made you… The one who fashioned your eyes, hands, feet and body…. loves you. 

And until I meet you, you are in my heart… please don’t give up… you have a story the world needs to hear… the lessons of traveling through this dark valley needs to be taught…. 

I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your courage…

The Sustainer

So many things can happen in a single day: a wedding, a birth, a death, a terrorist attack, a promotion, or a life altering injury. The list goes on… Each event, each season we walk through can be similar to another person’s, but for each person it is unique.

My personality, my perception, my emotions will not be identical to yours. We are created, uniquely, and sustained, uniquely.

I’ve been thinking about the God’s sustaining power. No matter what anyone of us face, He is able to sustain us. This doesn’t mean we won’t shed tears. Or that we won’t be heartbroken, or we won’t experience the range of emotions each season, and trial brings. It does mean that He will sustain us through it.

 “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” Psalm 54:4 NIV

The Greek word for is: Camak. Which means: to lean, rest, support, put, uphold, lean upon, brace oneself, sustain, refresh, revive.

It means that when life is too overwhelming, we can draw on Jesus’ strength. He is the one who helps us stay the course. He is the one that lifts our head. He holds us up when the load of life seems crushing to our fragile bodies, and fragile souls.

Often times, in the midst of our trials, suffering, and heartache, we don’t feel much. The only feeling we experience is desperation. Like a marathon runner, who is only at mile twelve, whose hit a physical wall. And, there are still 14.2 miles left to run. We begin doubting whether we will be able to finish the race set before us.

But it’s when we come through the other side and think, “I don’t know how I made it”, we see it was God’s hand sustaining us. God’s hand guiding us. God’s hand holding us.

It’s the times when we feel as though we have no strength. The times we’re running low on hope, and feel as though we are empty. It is then, that God wants to prove his sustenance to you.

Many times, hardships come into our lives to show us God is able. God is willing. His love for us is greater than any heartache we experience. Our wounds are deep, but His love is deeper. It is in the times of deep despair that we find a comfort unlike any comfort the world could offer.

It is almost as if God kneels down beside our fetal curled body and holds us. He catches the tears. He holds us so close those broken pieces stay in place. He, the God of heaven and earth, cares for our hurts, pains, and wounds. He may not give us the answers to our question, but He gives us His presence in the midst of our worlds crashing down.

He is the Sustainer of our lives. He is the one who carries our biggest heartaches, but also our daily burdens. He will fight for us when we are unable to fight. He gives grace when our souls feel marred beyond recognition.

So if this is a season of great loss, deep disappointment, or life changing pain, remember, you are on alone. Let the tears come. Let the hurt out.

We have a heavenly Father who is beside us and is not afraid of those ugly cries. He is not afraid of our deepest wounds. He is our Sustainer and is the Lifter of our weary head. Hold on dear friend, and even if you can’t, He is still holding on to you, and will never let you go.