hi, dear friends. :)
i hope you've all had a great week!
"hello" to the weekend!
i'm headed to the beach.....tomorrow morning actually.
i'm hoping it will be as relaxing as i need it to be. i'm so sad to be missing yet another sunday with my Highlands family, but i plan on participating once the video is put up on monday. :)
i think my sister and i may even try to find a church to go to while we're down there on sunday...wouldn't that be fun?
wednesday we said "goodbye-goodbye" to daddy. we won't see him again for 9 months this time.
the first time we said goodbye i think felt more emotional, more weepy, more fearful.
this time, i felt like i wanted to jump out of my skin. i wanted to leave, go somewhere, escape, hide, be alone.
i don't know what any of those emotions actually mean, but they led me to the park where i sat by myself and read the Word and prayed and sang to my Lord. my heart felt so burdened, so anxious, even guilty. i just had to lay it all before my God.
as i did, He reminded me through Romans 8 that nothing can separate me from His love. ever.
at first, i didn't understand how that was supposed to help me or make me feel better. (not that Scripture's sole purpose is to make us feel better. i did need some cheering up that day though, and i know jesus knew and cared about that fact.) i knew daddy leaving and other burdens on my mind weren't going to separate me from Jesus. so why would jesus use that to encourage me?
what's the worst thing that could happen to you?
a family member dies?
you get fired?
you get cancer?
he/she stops loving you?
your daddy gets deployed with the army?
you can't figure out the rest of your life because college seems so stinkin' ridiculous?
(okay, i'll admit it: i claim the last two.)
the worst thing that can happen to you is that you would be separated from the love of Jesus Christ.
honestly, nothing but your justification through Christ carries weight once you get to heaven. that's all that matters. that's the only thing that has everlasting implications.
"We think to question God when bridges fall but not to wonder at his grace that every bridge does not." Explicit Gospel, Matt Chandler
im trying to be careful to not try and make light of earthly struggles. personally, i hate when people do that, because i know that Jesus cares about the little stuff.
but i also know that nothing i'm going through right now is the worst. it can always get worse, loves.
i think Jesus was bringing me to a place where i remembered that no matter my suffering, my identity as His child never wavers, never changes, never goes away. the circumstances surrounding me may change, but the rock i stand on will not.
that was truly the most perfect encouragement i could have gotten at that time. the peace that surrounded me was thick, and i loved it.
"[God's] peace is not an elusive goal, hidden at the center of some complicated maze. Actually, you are always enveloped in peace, which is inherent in [God's] presence. As you look to [God], you gain awareness of the precious peace." Jesus Calling, August 7th
how do we look to God? i ask myself this too many times, when my mind becomes flustered and forgets even the simplest of things.
if i could point you in one direction in order to answer this question, i would point straight to a bible, any bible.
just read it.
even if you dont understand it, even if you dont like it, even if it's boring, even if you dont know where to begin, just read it.
The Word is God.
just open it, and be with it.
not that you're going to be saved by osmosis or anything.....
but by reading Scripture, you enter into the Lord's presence. you're in His courts. you've got His attention. He's there listening, and speaking words of wisdom, correction, guidance. He's telling you everything you're (ultimately) wanting to hear. so listen. read.
"run to the bible."
that's what i was repeating over and over in my mind as i sat there, wondering why it felt like i was taking big gulps of water after enduring a long drought.
had it been a while since i'd just poured over the words on the pages? read of the endless counts of God's faithfulness? watched as God judged nation after nation, page after page, purging them of the sin he hates? became overwhelmed at the recorded greatness of Jesus Christ as He bought me with His own blood and then set me apart to live with Him forever?
this is good news, my loves.
go read about it.
waiting here for You
with our hands lifted high in praise
and it's You we adore
You are everything You've promised
Your faithfulness is true
and we're desperate for Your presence
all we need is You
i love you all!