“I will lead them down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16
I will be the first mom to say that mommin’ ain’t easy. I have been blessed to be able to be a step mom for almost three years and now have the privilege of raising one of my own as well. Both roles are difficult in different ways but both are beautiful as well. They don’t tell you about the difficult times and the sleepless nights. Maybe they do but in your mind you imagine different. They don’t tell you about being so worried about either of them or praying for their future. They don’t tell you how deeply and completely your heart will belong to them.
If there is one thing I’ve learned these last three years and these last two weeks, it’s that being a mom should be hard because being a mom means sacrifice. It means giving when you are empty. Loving when you are hurt. Praying when you don’t know what to say. And hoping that through it all you can be a light in the darkness and a refuge from the storms in this world. God has reminded me that it is a blessing to be walked out with Him. Time with Him is crucial to not lose your sanity and patience. Prayer is our biggest weapon against the enemy and love covers all.
So while there are many days I have cried over these last few years, there are many prayers that have been answered. God continues to guide and show me how to walk along this mom path. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s just really hard. But at all times, He is God and He is with us. He gives us the strength we need for each day if we let Him.
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you” – Isaiah 43:2
This verse has resonated with me a great deal recently. I feel like the Lord just kept saying it to me over and over again this past week as my anxiety crept up in the way it usually does. This anxiety is not necessarily due to any one certain thing, but everything–the small and the big. I like to be in control of all aspects of my life, and when I realize I’m not, it can feel so immensely halting. The unknown can feel truly crippling at times. I’ve struggled to give this control over to God for so long. For too long I’ve fought this battle by myself, not letting anyone else take control. Especially not the One who wants to take it all from me. I am only so strong.
And as I let this verse from Isaiah settle in my mind and in my heart, I realized I don’t need to be afraid anymore. I’ve struggled with this burden for as long as I can remember and I don’t want to fight this battle alone. I don’t need to fight this alone. I can keep trying my plan…or I can yield to God. His grace abounds in deepest waters and I feel God’s grace most when He settles the storms inside me. I know He can use these struggles to draw us closer to Him and this includes the anxiety we may feel in life.
Admitting I struggle with anxiety has been such a rough battle in itself. Anxiety at it’s depths is ugly, and I didn’t want to burden others with my struggles. But that’s where I’m learning about community as well. I’m slowly growing a community around myself that encourages me to draw closer to God when I feel weak. He will never abandon me when I’m afraid. He knows my struggles and fears, and He holds me anyway.
“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His.'” 2 Timothy 2:19
Take time to rest today in the fact that you are known and pursued by a God who loved you before time began. You don’t have to try to be good enough to receive His love. You are enough as you are right now. So often I think we over-complicate God’s love. We take what we know here on earth as a broken version of love and try to mimic that relationship with Christ. “If I just try harder, then He will love me.” “If I can just clean myself up a bit and look a little better, then He will love me.” “After I get through this mess, then He will love me.” The truth is that God loves you as you are right now. He takes those broken places and seals them with His love. It says later in this chapter that after we turn from our sin, He makes us into a new vessel. One that is used for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful and ready for every good work. So embrace the truth today that you are enough…because who He is and His love for you is more than enough.
“Oh come let us adore Him.”
What does the adoration of Christ mean to you in your life? The word adore means to regard with the utmost esteem, to love, to respect and to pay divine honor to or worship. This season, as we approach a time where we reflect on the significance of what Jesus did for us, let’s throw aside the expectations and just rest. Rest in who God says you are. Rest in who Christ became for you. Rest in complete adoration of the One who gave it all up in order that we might know Him. True adoration of Christ begins when we throw aside the selfish idea that we can do it all and remind our hearts of how desperately we need a Savior.
I’ve had Psalm 23 memorized for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those Sunday school staples that just seems to nestle itself in your long-term memory.
You know it:
The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not be in want
He makes me lie down in green pastures…
Even though I walk through the darkest valley
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me
I have a vivid memory of a family trip to Durango, Colorado when I was in the fourth or fifth grade. We had been hiking all day long in search of a lake at which we would finally bust out our brand new fishing rods. The day ended up being a real bummer because the lake was nowhere to be found and exactly zero fish were caught. On the final stretch when just about all hope was lost, we peaked over a cliff edge to find not the elusive lake but a huge field in the valley of two mountains. It was one of those Sound of Music scenes where the wind is whistling through the grass and if you closed your eyes just right, the sun glares would peak through your eyelashes. Bliss. The feeling of laying down in that field after a day of disappointment is up there on my list of favorite things.
When I think of a green pasture, this is what I think of. However, I’m learning that in our walk with the Lord, laying down in a green pasture doesn’t mean that everything in our life makes sense, and it doesn’t mean that everything is easy. Continue reading “The Pursuit of Green Pastures”
“You who seek God, let your hearts revive.” Psalm 69:32
I am sitting in my living room with my coffee in hand on this raining start to the work week. It is such a peaceful moment to quiet my soul before the Lord as the day begins. I love mornings like this, but they are not always in my daily routine.
How many times do I rush through the Word just to check it off on my to-do list only to feel an empty soul by the end of the week. When my busy season begins to grow, my ability to hear His voice seems to decrease. I’m less attentive to His promptings and direction. And when things become more difficult than the average daily struggles, my decisions begin to be based more on emotions, I get frustrated, and I feel full of fear.
Continue reading “Come Away & Revive Your Life”