Broken Beauty

“Hurt people hurt people” We’ve all heard the explanation when someone wrongs us, or at least I have. I don’t doubt it. When we’re broken, we have no way to express goodness and kindness long-term because all of our beautiful pieces are scattered across the floor. Yes, hurt people certainly hurt other people as well as themselves. 

It seems like a  never-ending cycle, a downward spiral that ends in the destruction of humanity. Before you cast your lot on the day this will downward spiral reaches its end, see the hope. For this cycle was never God’s plan. If anyone tells you they’re anything but broken, they’re lying because we all are, yet God offers us a way out. He puts our broken pieces back together to form the most beautiful lamps.

Through our painful cracks, his light breaks through. Without God, humanity would be done for. There’s no way any broken person could avoid breaking others, even if they tried to be good, they’d lash out at some point. You can only keep up works for so long. For works alone can’t lead to salvation, yet faith leads to action. 

My heart aches for the broken. As Jesus said on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24a ESV) It’s not like everyone’s walking around with the intention of hurting others, but when your hurt without a healer, you can’t magically erase your burns and scars. Sometimes, we knowingly hurt each other, others we do so unintentionally, but in Christ, we find life. 

In Christ, there is joy and healing. Healing is most certainly a process, but nothing, not even one moment of your brokenness will be wasted. When someone wrongs you, don’t always take it to heart. Yes, there is a place for justice undoubtedly, but they too are broken. It shows more so how desperate they are for a savior than it reflects on your worth. 

Pray for them, forgive them. There is a way out of this downward spiral. Just outside of this twister is the most beautiful picture. An artwork of stained glass being pieced together with every brokenness we give to God. Through it, together as the body of Christ, we can shine his light and hope into this dark world. So someday the phrase may not be “Hurt people hurt people”. Maybe the phrase will be, “Out of the darkest night, comes the brightest light.”

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Ezekiel 33:11 (ESV)

Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Stop Trying, Start Being

Airport: excitement for some, dread for others. It’s the place of warm welcome homes and heartbreaking goodbyes. Sometimes, we don’t even recognize that that goodbye was the last goodbye we’d get.  

Here I sit six feet away from the nearest soul, my understanding deeper than that of ten days prior to my adventure. Thousands, probably millions of people fly in and out of here daily, yet all we think is where we’re headed next. Anticipating being home after days or weeks away. Dreading leaving everything you know for the next several months. Sometimes it’s off on the most exciting adventure, others it’s back to a broken home, or breaking away from a broken place. Some are running away, some facing their greatest fears. 

My heart now realizes a longstanding truth. People, millions of walks, reasons, ideas, painful memories, and joyful hearts sit next to us, bustling around us. Still we don’t see them. Someone committed suicide right as I typed this, but no one saw. Our actions affect those around us. We are called children of light, but do we live as such? There is so much hurt cycling around the globe, no matter its cause, we could spare five minutes to be present with someone who has no one. 

Five minutes isn’t much, but it’s enough to tell someone they’re loved. It’s enough for someone to get healing from heartache they dared not share with those close to them. For much as I hate to admit, it’s easier to share my deepest insecurities with someone who I’ll never see again than my closest friend. No judgement that way, or if there is, I won’t here about it forever. If we spared five minutes out of our busy lives to help that lost toddler find her parents, or take a few extra minutes to walk with the lonely older man who goes out daily to relieve his mind from the memories of Vietnam. Even holding the door for the cab driver, saying thank you to the clerk at the store clerk, making eye contact when we ask how a person’s day was so we can truly connect. 

It isn’t everyone’s calling to be a missionary in Africa, it is however, everyone’s calling to be light. If we lived as billions of lights, no matter how small our light may seem, there’d be no night people with depression must endure alone in the dark. No, I won’t be perfect at being light, but I’m the perfect light’s daughter and so long as my fire is burning with his fuel, I won’t burn out. This isn’t one more thing to do, it’s a lifestyle. Live open with God using you. Love fully and let go of trying so you can better grasp being.

Ephesians 5:8 (ESV)

for at one time you were darkness, but now you are a light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

Isaiah 1:17 (ESV)

   learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless,  plead the widow’s cause.

To Explore the World

I want to do it all, see it all. There are so many mountains to explore, the ocean is full of wonder. Eighty, or even a hundred years are not enough to dream and explore all the possibilities. It’s interesting to me the conflict in my heart. I want to fly around the globe, hike every trail, watch the sun set from every direction and angle possible. 

Yet, I don’t want to leave my quiet comfort zone. The one in which I have a stable job and friends that are basically family. I want to get married, have kids, go on weekly picnics and enjoy the routine Saturday french toast brunches. I want to grow old with my husband evening chats on the back porch, same view, different night, lightning bugs flickering in the distance. I can’t do both can I? 

I have so many dreams, I couldn’t possibly complete. I want to shoot for the stars, but I don’t want to miss and land on the moon. I’d rather enjoy the simplicity of not shooting than fall short. Is it fear holding me back or selfishness pulling me forward. God has a plan and I have a million dreams. I hope they line up because I’m stubborn, but God’s better. How can I know that, but not follow it?  God’s the ultimate dreamer after all.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV)

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

I’d love to be a missionary, maybe in Australia or New Zealand, but aren’t there people even within my friends who haven’t been saved? There’s a whole world to reach with the gospel, but that doesn’t mean I have to travel to the other end of the world to find them. Maybe they’re my neighbor or classmate. How can I reach people across the globe if I can’t reach those five feet away from me? It could be more impactful to reach even one who’s in my life than seeking out hundreds who may not even give me an ear. 

Mark 10:45 (ESV)

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

I’ll never have all the answers, it seems the more answers I do have only lead to further questions. It’s refreshing to know I know the God who knows. The God of adamant love and safety even when life feels risky. My encouragement and challenge to you is to keep dreaming. Keep doing, always in prayer, but never in fear, For as Franklin D. Roosevelt said:

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

It reminds me of a couple verses in the Bible about fear. First, 1 John 4:18 and Luke 12:29.

1 John 4:18 (ESV)

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 

Luke 12:29-30 (ESV)

29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

God’s got you. He’ll take care of your needs and go above and beyond. He knows and cares. I’ve got endless questions, you’re not alone, but God knows and I pray that gives you peace. What are your dreams? What’s holding you back? 

Scars That Burn

Battle scars, we all got ‘em. The marks that allow us to share stories, some now funny, others not so much about our lives. The deepest scars may not be visible to the naked eye, but those are the ones still pulsing with pain. Riddled with insecurities and anxiety, no one would ever understand or care.

Recently I burnt my hand. It stung horribly ice wouldn’t even help. We’ve all felt the burn. Some of us may even have scars from our burns. I know I could point to a few. Even if we weren’t scarred by our burns outwardly, our minds got a scar, one to be used as a future reference so we don’t burn ourselves in the future. It causes me to wonder, what other scars are burned on our hearts?

How often do you find yourself running? When we’re scarred, we tend to run or hide from whatever left that mark. Beauty marks some say as they lighten the mood, but everyone knows what went into that “beauty mark”. There are countless reasons to be scarred and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been, but the worst part of the scar is when the scar is invisible. Many of us have invisible scars and because of their invisibility, we’re unable to tell the painful story. The one burning on our hearts daily. One we can’t tell because it’s too deep, or no one would care because they can’t see how it cuts us to the core.

What if we were given a shot? What if we shared those heartbreaking nightmares? The ones that still give you goosebumps. They bring tears to your eyes. I see it, but you won’t allow them beyond the gates. Insecurities and self-doubt crush your dreams. You’re lost and alone, though you have several close friends. You reason away the need to tell because you don’t want to be a burden. You don’t want to overshare. 

If I’m being completely honest, a lot of this is too me to even want to share, but I know someone needs it. Someone needs to know that your burns and beauty marks matter. God cares about your scars. He wants to bring you healing. It’s terrifying being alone in the world, feeling as if you can’t tell, but also can’t keep it in. My heart aches for you. I’ve been there. One thing I’m learning through all of this is reality. We all have these burns and if we share our burns, maybe it’ll give someone else the courage to share theirs. I’m learning that my closest friends want to hear the pain. They want to be there for you with you. Maybe, if we share the burdens and lies that crush us, we’ll find freedom. Not just freedom for ourselves, but also others who are now empowered to share their scars.

Battle scars, we all got ‘em. Late nights of endless tears. Early morning quivers from PTSD. The flashback from under the table when they fought, or that time when you couldn’t save them from tragic injury. We can’t undo the past, but let there be freedom. It isn’t yours to carry any longer. Let it go and be free.

Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Psalm 34:18-19 (ESV)

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

In the End

When will it end? The constant fear, masks, quarantines, riots, backward politicians. When will all of this be done with? I just want to get on with my life! 

I’ve thought this many times and I know I’m not the only one. I’m absolutely sick of it. For the longest time, I assumed it would end or turn around. Not Covid-19 per se, but all that comes with it. The political drama and people so divided. Maybe I’m not thinking about this right. Does God guarantee us the peace and sense of security we’ve become accustomed to? I haven’t been able to find the verse in which he promises safety in this world. In fact, this world isn’t even our home. How are we expecting it to be so comfortable?

John 18:36 (ESV)

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”  

Jesus himself said that this isn’t our home. We aren’t entitled to security that comes from this world and it isn’t what we should be seeking. Here we are so divided by trivial things as the real enemy seals the trap. While we fight for what we feel is right or wrong whether wearing masks or not, unsaved men, women, and children are dying of starvation, illnesses, and poverty. As we’re distracted by arguments over extensions of quarantine, broken people reach the end of their rope, going as far as taking their own lives because we’re distracted and they can’t bring themselves to reach out about something that “probably isn’t that important.” 

There’s more to this than what we see. Satan’s fingerprints are evident. We may be fighting for something we feel strongly about, but I was convicted in Church on Sunday when I heard Romans 13:1. Who is the real enemy? We may not agree with our politicians, but ultimately they were put in place by God. Unless it’s a choice between God and our earthly leaders, why are they fighting them? Remember our leaders will have to answer to God in the end for their choices. 

John 10:10 (ESV)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Jesus came to bring life. If we think for a moment this is home, it isn’t. Don’t fall for the false sense of security that comes from living in an area so free from persecution. I’m not saying God’s heart is for us to suffer unnecessarily, or to give persecution, but we live in a fallen world. Don’t trust this world to give you security. That can be found in God alone. How will you live until you’re called home? Will you fight for personal security in this world as more are forever lost? 

Luke 19:10 (ESV)

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

We want to be more like Jesus. Christianity was never supposed to be about works. It still isn’t. If you think you can save the lost, or through you presenting the gospel, you’re winning Heaven points, you aren’t. It’s about the heart. God wants a relationship with you. This relationship should lead to fruit, but fruit won’t produce salvation. What I mean by this is when we’re pursuing a relationship with God, we will begin to see his heart for the lost. Which may lead us to do something. Ultimately it’s between you and God, but where’s your heart at? What do you allow to distract you? Why are you so insistent on security here?

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 14:2-3 (ESV)

2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

James 2:17 (ESV)

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Through My Eyes

Welcome to the world you’ve never seen. Let me show you around. Please be careful, you tread holy ground. Schedules are held loosely around here. We aren’t lazy, simply busy enjoying every moment. Spending our last five minutes of daylight savoring the strawberry pinks, lavenders, and peaches. The home is rustic as I like to call it. Others might say it’s a blast from the past. Maybe even a bit too far gone. To me, it’s home. Welcome to my imagination.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s mind feeling every emotion exactly how they felt it, how much different would it be? I suppose it depends on whose lens you’re looking through. I’ll give you a glance through mine, but here’s a quick secret: My lens is simply a narrow lens of another. A gift so precious I’d never dare to lose it. 

So, let’s go already! My world may appear similar to yours at first glance but stay a little. Can you feel the love flowing through the songs of the sparrows? Sparrows shouldn’t even matter because they’re so small and insignificant, but God gave them a lovely song. He even knows when a sparrow dies. He loves the sparrows a lot and gave them a beautiful song to remind us of that. Yet with all his love for his creation, he did not die to save the sparrows.

There, across the field, a gazelle has fixed her eyes upon us. Half terrified, half confused, she dances away, prancing to the beat of the sparrow’s song. Even in her majestic dance, she is not the one the Lord called out of the darkness. She is not who Christ came to suffer for and save.

Look! There’s a meadow across the field. In it, a little girl crowns her sister with flowery wreaths. Be still as they come towards us. Their matching dresses flap in the wind. The older turns her sparkling emerald eyes upon the younger blonde. “Let’s stay forever. Watch the stars popcorn with me tonight. Maybe tonight, we’ll spy Orian’s belt.” Clutching each other’s hand, they lay on the grass, pointing out the twinkles in the stars. Giggling at the funny faces formed by the different stars popping across the sky.

I see adults socializing by a great bonfire, glancing with care towards their treasures in the meadow. To the side cat and dog rest against each other on the porch. The air has become crisp as fall, now life is brought inside. Maybe because these people are so good, Christ would have come to save these works of art. Still, Jesus didn’t come for those who had it all together, for no one does.

My world is not all sunshine and rainbows. I see these girls fight as if they’ll never be friends again. I hear the brokenness as mother and father throw daggers of words at each other. The brokenness cuts me to the core, but they are who I came for. The mom and dad break away and pray. Maybe they need a listening ear, so I hear them speak through their pain. I don’t offer solutions. Sometimes they just need someone to listen. I hear the hurt and the brokenness, but I don’t dwell on it. That isn’t all that there is. There is joy, people heal when they come to Jesus his ear is always open. 

The brokenness we face isn’t without cause. It certainly isn’t right, but understand that we’re all human. We all have our pains. Listen. Open your heart and hear others. Let them share their pain knowing you won’t judge. Once you listen and bring everything to your heavenly father, you’ll see all the little things. You may even begin to hear the song of the sparrows.

Mathew 10:29-31 (ESV)

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Luke 19:9-10 (ESV)

9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house since he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Mark 2:17 (ESV)

And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

You Complete Me

It’s vital, it’s broken, family. What does it mean to you? If you had a perfect family growing up or even now, that’s wonderful. Yet I know no one could honestly say they have. Families are broken. I see it every day. You don’t have to look hard to find a broken family. Often, it’s in your own home. How can we have whole, complete families?

First, I think we have to start with God. Without him, we’re broken and lost. Many people say that finding the love of their life, or their soulmate “completes” them, but I can’t comprehend how. 

Tale as old as time, a woman met a man only a couple of years her senior. They dated and fell in love. Must’ve been fate that brought such a perfect pair together. The gentleman proposed to our fair lady and within a year and a half of when they first met, they were sealed as man and wife. “What a lovely couple.” On-lookers would have declared. They were blessed with four beautiful children. I can see how this family could have been mistaken for achieving the dream family. Yet with or without Christ, our past often tends to haunt us. Without Christ, there is no hope of defeating our demons. It’s a battle that drags us down and often our whole family. 

So was the case with this family. Sure they went to church. Of course, they sent their kids to Awana. They may even have appeared to be overly generous and full of good deeds. Yet, as we all know. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8) And so we see demonstrated daily that it is not works that save us or in and of themselves bring healing. We feel it at the empty or at least obnoxiously silent dinner table. We see it in the glares shared by siblings behind the parent’s backs. The ones that only mimic the glares they’ve noticed from Mom and Dad. We hear it in the anger once bottled, now exploded on children who knew not what they’d done. On a Mom desperately trying to manage a household full of wild children. The empty beer cans, the shattered mug. It’s the side the world doesn’t see. The world sees perfection.

Without a relationship with God, broken people can’t fix or complete each other. It’s like trying to hammer a nail in with a hammer that the head fell off of. It doesn’t work. We’re just one of the billions of broken people trying to heal in a broken world. So we look to the world, but it’s broken. This is why we need God so desperately. Don’t think for a second you can live without him. You can’t unless you want to cause further destruction. Families are so vitally important, yet with all the toxic relationships, it seems impossible to have hope for the future. 

Yet you, you can be the change. You don’t have to come from a perfect family to bring about this change. You just need a relationship with God and it can change everything. Only if He is first and foremost.

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

John 1:3 (ESV)

All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

Freedom

“Freedom is never free.”James Grengs states in his poem, Freedom is Never Free. Many others have also argued and pushed this point, but what does that mean? What’s the cost of freedom? Most Americans understand it cost many lives and much bloodshed to secure our “rights” as we now like to call them. These rights are freedoms. Not everyone has them, nor are they aware that some are entitled to them. We certainly didn’t start right, we still prevented thousands of precious lives from living in the freedom many began to experience, but all glory be to God, our eyes were opened to the crime against humanity. 

More lives were lost, the price was great and not all motives were pure in the process. Freedom was a hefty price, but a price worth paying. Freedom, as always, had a price tag attached. Sacrifices must be made to purchase freedom. Sacrifices of love, only a person with a deep, Christ-centered love would fight to the death for what is right, but a portion of that we often don’t admit either because we don’t think about it, or because we don’t want to is that freedom is found at the cross. Whose cross and how is freedom found at that cross? 

Romans 5:7 (ESV)

 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-

Okay, well Romans 5:7 doesn’t leave a whole lot of hope. It most certainly demonstrates part of the reason our war of peace and freedom never seems to end. We’re in it for ourselves. Scarcely a person dies for a righteous person. I know I wouldn’t be considered righteous, not if a person could see my heart as God does. So how are so many people willing to lay down their lives for the sake of others who may or may not be righteous? Don’t lose hope with verse seven. The best is yet to come. 

Romans 5:8 (ESV)

 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

There are two reasons I can reconcile as to why a person would pay the high price for freedom. Either they are in it for themselves for their glory or personal gain, or maybe, with Christ’s love, they fight, losing their own lives, but counting it as a gain for the glory of Christ. God’s love is beyond human comprehension. It’s hard to even begin to understand, much less explain. Yet, it’s the place in which you will find more freedom than ever before. For without Christ’s sacrifice, we were in bondage to sin. 

Romans 6:14 (ESV)

 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

See after Christ paid the ultimate price, we were gifted with grace so great it covers the cost of our sin. Now, we are no longer slaves. Sin won’t have dominion over you even though it did! That’s the best news I could ever hear. While our world is chaotic and full of violence. People enslaved to sin, or told they are less, we can spread God’s love and his grace now that Christ’s love lives in us. “Run wild. Live free. Love strong. You and me.” as For King and Country sings in their song Run Wild. This is what we’re called to do. As we thank God for his freeing grace and mercy. Let us be living demonstrators of his love. For this freedom was bought with the ultimate price, his perfect son’s life. All that he might adopt us as sons and daughters. 

Unless You Die

Today’s a bit unique. I can’t explain why this came to me, but it seems a good allegory. Do you ever struggle to let go? Who are you letting control your life, God or fear?

A tree just outside our house was struck by lightning this evening. It was a majestic tree. I loved to watch the tree blossom each spring. As I gazed at the tree, half strewn across the lawn, I began to wonder what type of stories that tree might have within its layers. Here is it’s “story”. 

If I could tell you a story, one for every year, the shelves in the library would be full. Some stories would be filled with laughter; like the one in which the boy and his sister spent nearly the whole year by my side, sledding, building snow forts, biking, and tossing that old football up and down the luscious grass before me. There are tales with unfortunate sequences, a mother longing for her son’s understanding, bridges broken and nearly impossible to recover. Yet, even in these dark, unread stories, I could point you to the hope that shone in her eyes. Or remind you of the hugs that happened that dreary, December night. 

The flowers came and went, my leaves died, but after a winter of restoration, they returned unfailing every spring. Hope. That’s what I like to call myself, one who points others to Jesus. Under me I long that animals can find shelter from rain and people shelter from the scorching sun. The joy that comes when I share a quiet afternoon with a young boy chasing his dreams through his latest series of books is something that can’t be beat. I’m the shelter. I listen when you’re alone. My oak leaves contain secrets that I will never tell. 

For years, I’ve watched you grow. Not just you, but all who seek refuge here. My glory has not always been so great for I too was once a weak sapling. But by God’s mercy, he sent the rain. My roots sank deep into rich soils. There I hid your secrets. I had such a lovely time with you and all who entertained me in decades gone by. Now I’m no longer a towering beauty on your lawn. I can’t be a refuge when the sun’s too hot, but I hope that maybe, just maybe, as you poured your heart out and wept in the loss, you heard God’s whisper as his fingers toyed with my leaves. As you dreamed your millions of dreams, I hope you noticed the intricate patterns and shapes carved by my maker. While you laid below my bows, gazing at the stars, I don’t doubt you noticed the song twinkling above. The one God sings to you and me as we grew. It’s soft and ever so sweet. 

Now that I’m gone, don’t forget God’s goodness. Don’t forget the awe of his majesty. I was here for a time, but now he will reflect his glory in numerous ways I can’t begin to predict. I’ve enjoyed my time planted here in this small town, but now I hope to move on and touch others. Maybe I’ll be the frame that holds a family together. My wood may be chopped to give people warmth in these brutal winters. Maybe people will continue to laugh and cry around the new oak table. Sometimes, you have to die to what you think is good for you to reach everyone God has for you to reach. I always thought this spot on the westward hill was mine forever. I cherished every moment as you should as well, but when God moves you forward, don’t hesitate. Often it hurts, and sometimes, it takes a strike of lightning to catch our attention, but he’ll work it for good.

Psalm 19:1 (ESV)

1 The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

John 12:24-25 (ESV)

24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 

Romans 8:28 (ESV)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Don’t Lose the Dream

“Fear, he is a liar.” Let’s scream that from the rooftops. The song by Zach Williams seems relevant in many aspects of daily life. I never thought I struggled with fear or anxiety. Of all the things that I’ve struggled with I’d been grateful to not need to fight that battle. Okay, maybe it was more like a severe case of denial.

I dream and I love dreaming. I want to zip from one idea to the next, connecting the dots as I zoom along. It’s led me to difficulty at times because well dreaming is fun, acting on a dream requires a plan in which all the dots are connected and I often miss a dot, or five. When something goes wrong, it’s so easy to give in to fear. Satan likes to mock us, reminding us over and over about our inadequacies. No matter how many times we tell ourselves it’s a lie, we continually fall into the trap. How can we escape from this looming monster? 

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Whoa, that sounds way too easy. Is that all it is? In my experience, that is all it takes to overcome the looming giant of fear. So what’s the big deal? Why is this such a struggle? Every time I fall into the pit of fear, I try to climb out alone. “I can do it!” So I run and jump but miss the edge. Each attempt, no matter how creative, sinks me deeper. Why do I try so hard to make it on my own? God is right there at the top edge. He’s already dangled the lifeline, all I need to do is hold on, letting go of myself and clinging to the only hope I have. 

That does not make our struggle easier. I know people who struggle with anxiety at a much deeper level. It doesn’t seem to be rooted in anything particularl, but it is crippling. I wish there were easy answers to our struggles as we all do, but somehow, God will take what is our “worst part” and make something beautiful. 

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Who is called according to his purpose? Is this an elite group of people? Suddenly, our inadequacies fire back up scaring us away from God’s promises. Those who are called according to his purpose are all of us. God has called each of us in accordance with his purpose. He is the maker of our dreams. When we hit roadblocks, pray. Before we even start we need to pray. It’s more than fulfilling a calling, it’s a relationship and God wants to be in it every step of the way. Our weakest moments are often the best if given to God because as Second Corinthians says:

2 Corinthians 12:9

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

When you are weak, fear not. Press on with the dream. Of course, continue prayerfully with Christ, but don’t let the fear of inadequacy overtake you. “[His] power is made perfect in weakness.” God is strong enough. He is big enough. He will overcome mountains to accomplish his will. Most wonderfully of all, he wants us to be a part of it!