All the Missing Pieces

All the missing pieces. The tiny things we hold onto. Pieces, once compiled, can create disasters.

It’s funny all the things we collect. A puzzle piece, tiny screws, rubber bands, it’s all sure to come in handy someday. We hold onto it, hoping that someday we’ll find the game the piece fell out of, or the chair missing it’s screw. 

I’ve been cleaning a bit lately. Not that staying organized is my forte, it isn’t, but at least getting organized is doable. As I’ve been cleaning, I’ve come across so much junk. Stuff that could be so helpful, but if you don’t use it, it just collects dust. We all have junk drawers, or in some cases, junk closets, maybe a garage? The point isn’t how much stuff you’ve collected or even how helpful it could be. What are you doing with it?

Organizing everything has put things into perspective in my own life. We go through life collecting all these little things. Broken or missing pieces. Hoping to find their home one day, but when it boils down to it, we end up with an ice cream pail of rusty nails, rubber bands, and legos. All things that can be helpful, but we’re saving them. For that lego set, or the deck of cards. It’s good to save, there are times to wait, but holding on to all these things may just hold you back. 

There is an amazing skill that God has given to each of us. In fact, I believe he gives us multiple skills, but the problem occurs when we sit down thinking about them all. Waiting for the answer to fall in our laps, or the pieces to fall into place before the project’s begun. Sometimes we get clear direction. ‘A voice from above’ if you will, but honestly, it isn’t always that way. It’s funny, my pastor was just talking about this on Sunday. “I’d rather be running where I think God wants me to go and have him say ‘Hold up, slow down, you aren’t quite ready for that yet, let’s take this path,’ than to be sitting on my couch like some couch potato while the Holy Spirit whispers ‘Get up! We have places to be, so many amazing things to do.” 

Unfortunately, I often respond, “Eh, I’ll pray about it.” And pray about it I will (probably), but is my praying legit or just words I say as my excuse to not do what I know I should? Is it adding this calling to the ‘missing pieces’ jar of stuff to be used someday? Use it. Use the talents God’s given you. Step out in faith. He won’t let you down. That’s not to say get cocky and do whatever cause you can do no wrong. I’ve been there. Doing it on your own doesn’t really work that well. Stick with him. Ask him to reveal to you his heart. He will over time. 

God is calling you. He made you with a purpose in mind and you’re the perfect person for the job. Be the EMT. The first responder. Sure, he’s God, he can use anyone to accomplish his will, but the cool thing is, he wants you.

Confidence

A topic that’s been on my heart for a few weeks. A personal struggle for years. And, if I’m honest, I haven’t quite mastered the art of putting it in the right place all the time, but I’m getting better and that’s all we need; to be making steps in the right direction. 

It seems like everyone tells us to have self-confidence. In order to have success you need to be confident in yourself. Your skills and abilities. Ultimate key to success for sure. At least that’s what everyone says. I don’t know about you, but for me. That’s not a good option. 

You see when I am confident in my skills and abilities, I get cocky and do something stupid. Just the other day I had become confident enough in my own ability to drive on Wisconsin winter roads that I went faster than I should have (and I knew it). I wasn’t speeding, but I’d just come around a corner and was headed onto a straighter portion of the road where a pick-up was more on my side of this country road than I was comfortable with. Swerving a bit too close to the ditch to avoid him, I lost control of my car and ended up spinning  and ricocheting across the road. 

By the grace of God, I managed to stay on the road and there weren’t any other cars behind the pick-up to hit me afterwards. That was definitely a humbling moment of learning that even though I may be a capable winter driver, I’m not perfect. With my confidence in myself, I failed. It was hard to think that I could safely venture onto wintery roads after doing something so dumb. 

Self-confidence only gets us a little closer to success before dropping us disgracefully down the slope of failure because we’re all bound to fail. No, you shouldn’t let those failures define you, but what if your confidence wasn’t in yourself and your talents? What if your confidence rested in God?

The God of the universe made you with all your skills, and abilities. He knows better than you what you are capable of and just how far your potential reaches. In him, your potential is without limits. That’s not to say you won’t ever fail. You will. It’s that when you do fail, he’s still got you. When I lost control of my car on that icy road, I should have been in the ditch with a totaled car, or at least in the ditch. But God watched over me and in his mercy saved me from what could have been an expensive lesson. 

Sometimes when we fail, we fail hard and God lets us learn the hard way. I have many times, but I know that when he’s at the wheel, he works even my failures out for good. Which is the only way it’s gonna work for me in the long run. An interesting thing that stuck out to me at church today that I feel correlates really well is that though God is in control, we ultimately have the choice to go with his plans or against them. Joseph’s brothers sinned. They made the choice to go against God and their brother and sell him off into slavery. Yet in all of that God worked it out for good as he always does for those that love him and are called according to his purpose. I’m sure it didn’t feel good as Joseph being sold into slavery. 

I doubt Joseph had really failed in any major way at that point, but his confidence was in God and though his brothers failed him, God didn’t fail him and used the bad for good. That’s the best part of having our confidence founded in God. When we trust ourselves  or others we are bound for disappointment, but with confidence in God, he won’t disappoint. The results may not be immediate, but they’ll be lasting and fulfilling. 

You may never achieve success in the way you anticipate or the way the World sees it, but you will have success that lasts for eternity.

Hopeful Horizons

Hooray! 2020 is done. I can’t wait to get on with my life. Like really, the worst year ever. In our own ways, we all excitedly approach the new year. Hope is finally on the horizon. 2021! Somehow all our problems will be solved. 

Okay… yes, I want next year to be better. I’m believing for a better year. I have dreams, adventures, and plans, but if this year has taught me anything, it is to be grateful. I’m thankful for you. For the lessons we’ve learned, the time we’ve shared, and that you’re still here. How much time do we have left? I honestly don’t know, but I’m gonna enjoy every second that remains if only a day.

I used to be a dreamer. Well, okay, I’m still very much of a dreamer. I’m always seeking what’s on the other end of the rainbow. I want to sail to that point where the sea meets the sky. Yet often, my yearning to be anywhere and everywhere but here has kept me from the most precious gift I’ve ever received. Now. 

Tomorrow may come. I sure hope it does, but for all I know, five minutes from now the sky could fall. Seriously! We’ve had enough things happen this year that we’d believe Chicken Little if he tweeted it. Yet, we now also know that impossibilities can be possible. With that we can be sure God works miracles.

Breath in. How does it feel? You’re alive, you’re here! But you don’t know for how long, so make every day, moment, and breath count. As if it’s your last. I haven’t been very good at that. And I’m still far from where I need to be, but we’ve been blessed with astounding lives, don’t miss them. 

It seems as though God has been showing me that it is good to dream. In fact, he created our imaginations, but there needs to be a balance. Oh, that word makes me cringe. (Mostly because I’m not good at balancing different aspects of my life) The good news? God is so perfect at balance, that he is willing to help us. When I surrender different areas of my life to him, he takes them and evens them out. No taksies backsies though. Trust me, it doesn’t go well. I’ve tried that many times this year and I’m not nearly as good at figuring out life as God is.

You see, I would get so carried away in my hopes and dreams for tomorrow or next year that I missed all the precious moments. Not that I never miss moments, but hey, we’re all a work in progress. Life is beautiful and yes, HARD, but after this year, I’m all the more convinced that God holds true to his promise in Romans 8:28. He works ALL things together for good. Not that all things are good, but he twists even the bad things to make something beautiful. Kind of like how all roses have thorns.

So please, as you enter the new year this weekend and reflect on the past, don’t miss all the roses among the thorns. As you continue to hug your loved ones a little closer, remember it took a pandemic to help you recognize your true passions and priorities. No, it wasn’t fun and I wouldn’t like to endure another year like that, but if it means watching miracles unfold and people love a little more it’d be worth it. This time I’ll let Jesus lead.

12.11.17

I felt uneasy the whole day. In fact, I’d been feeling uneasy the whole week. It’s almost beyond words how much I felt the happenings without knowing a thing. Hard things happen in everyone’s life. Too often things just don’t go the way they should have. That’s how my Monday was going. It was cold, and the skies loomed like the storm brewing in my heart. I knew something was wrong. Josh. what’s wrong with Josh?

I remember especially after lunch, I felt it and then in study hall, I got the text. Any other day, I wouldn’t be concerned about such a simple text from my Dad asking what our home phone number was, but today, I knew. 

“Did Kyle get into an accident? “

“Maybe Josh? 

“Surely it’s nothing serious.” 

“Maybe they broke a bone, but I’m sure they’ll get over it.”

The thoughts ran through my mind, but still my gut told the story. I’ve heard people say that twins sometimes have a special connection, they sometimes feel what’s happened before it has. Josh and I aren’t twins, but I always wished we were. Even still there was a connection between us I think. Honestly, I’m convinced that it was God’s grace. He knows I wouldn’t have survived without it.

The moment I got home, that’s when I couldn’t deny it any longer. Josh was gone. Suicide they said. The brightest, most optimistic kid in the room, just days before his eighteenth birthday. Who could’ve known he was feeling that way? He must’ve known  he was everyone’s favorite. That’s the thing though. He’s been a warrior since day one. The emotional battles he’s been through are deeper than any person should have to deal with especially before they’re eighteen. Yet it was out of anyone’s control. 

Ever since we were little kids he wanted to be in the military. He’d send my dolls off to the Marines with his teddy bears. Yet he had his sweet and goofy side. He’d cook up the wildest recipies if only to play with me and help me get over not having a sister to play house with. Somewhere along the line, he started slipping. I doubt it was out of impulse. At the moment I’m sure it was, but for him, it was more of a slow fade. Trauma before your even twelve has huge impact on a person’s life. The weight is too much to bear on your own, but he was a soldier so he’d take it like a man even if he wasn’t even a teen yet. 

We all got stuff. I don’t write this to weigh you down, but rather to lift you up. You have today. Spend it well. Reach out to the ones you love. When the weight gets to be too much, don’t try to hold it on your own because no one wants to see their favorite crushed under burdens they were never made to carry. Be thankful for every chance you get to see your loved ones, knowing that each chance is a gift to be treasured. 

There will be days when you lose. Or at least you feel like it, but know that God will provide in miraculous ways. I know for sure if God hadn’t worked a miracle out of my tragedy I would still be broken somewhere trying not to drown in my grief. It’s crazy really how he provided. And I  think he knows what everyone needs, and for each person he provides differently, because we need our own reassurances. Not that he causes them, for he hates death more than we do. He is the one who cried with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died even though he knew Lazarus would rise from the dead. 

Two weeks before his death, I had a dream that Josh died in military conflict. The enemy wanted him, but he reached up for God even as he was dying and God saved him. In this way I was certain he went to heaven though at the time the dream didn’t make sense other than I knew he had plans to enlist in the Marines. Then the weekend before his passing the strangest thing happened. There was a concert that I really wanted to go to. At the last minute I got invited to go by friends I hadn’t spoken with in months. Then, on our way there and the way back, I just had this thought. Something really hard is coming, but God is so good. He’s showing me that he will never leave me. Somehow, it’s all going to be okay. Man I don’t care what it is, God is so good. 

To this day, I will continue to proclaim it. God is so good! Life is painful a lot, but live life thankful for every moment of every day. Love the people around you even the ones you don’t really like. God made them too and you don’t know what they’re going through or how much time they have left. Even if they seem to have it all together, they probably don’t and God knows, we could all use a bit more love in the world right now.

Love More 2020

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Election season, yes that’s totally what I was talking about. Not. I appreciate living in America, I truly do. It’s a great country and God has blessed it. Elections are so important and yes, I believe voting matters. It matters very much, but before we get too political here let me just say this, Love More 2020. That’s where I’d like to cast my ballot. 

Anyone else? There are two major parties, neither of which candidates is perfect (or am I the only one who thinks that?). On November 3rd, or earlier if you’re voting by mail, you will choose who you want to lead this country and cast your ballot. If you’re a Christian, I hope you’re praying first, but what matters more than this election than, dare I say, the fate of this country? People.

We’ve spent the past how many months relentlessly politicizing and judging things that never should’ve been such a big deal. Wear a mask suddenly you’re assumed to be an ultra liberal democrat, don’t and you’re a rebellious republican who wants to murder us all with Covid-19. No one seems to recognize the whole ‘That person may be dealing with PTSD, anxiety, or a variety of other things that actually prevent them from wearing a mask.’ 

When did we become a culture that is so twisted that we’re a cancel culture which cancels anything or one we disagree with, no discussion much less reasoning other than “I was offended”? 

You’re allowed to make your own choices, but when you’re blocking out the truth then insisting everyone around you agree with you because you’re offended, I think there’s something wrong. It seems we live in a constant state of “That offends me so it should offend you” but going back and asking “Why are you offended? That’s hardly offensive.”

When a show that clearly exploits children in the most shameful sense leading to further exploitation and innocent sufferers, and no one speaks up, we have a problem. Yes, some spoke up, some canceled their subscriptions for two weeks, but it didn’t last because convenience and personal enjoyment are more of a priority. The reality is it’s only acceptable to be offended if it’s beneficial to the people making the big bucks.

After all of this my question is when the election results are in, what will you do? We as Christians know we are called to love one another, (and not just loving other Christians/ people who agree with us) we’re called to love everyone with Christ’s love. If Biden wins, will his supporters rub it in and make a mockery of Trump supporters? If Trump wins would Trump supporters rub it in and mock those who voted for Biden? Loving one another, no matter the political affiliation is more important than politics. Being there for you’re sister as she battles cancer is more important than shunning her while your political views clash. 

When your uncle votes for Trump as you vote for Biden, no matter the outcome will you still go out fishing every Saturday morning with that same deep connection and care? As the new President prepares for inauguration day or the old prepares for the next four years in office, my genuine hope is that your family comes together on Thanksgiving and gives thanks for one another no matter who voted for who. I pray there are no debates around the table as the six-month build-up of frustration and anxiety begins to settle.

I understand it’s tough. It’s hard to feel right (maybe you are right), and see that your brother doesn’t agree, but yelling at them, cussing them out, calling names, none of this helps. What if, just what if, you’re wrong? I know it seems far-fetched, but what if it’s true? Even if you’re right, I’d be way more open to hearing you out if you weren’t accusing me of being a narrow-minded idiot because no matter how wrong I am about one subject, I’m no idiot and if I were, I wouldn’t be more likely to listen to you when you’re calling me one.

It’s an election year yes, but there’s no call for all the hate. It’s hard enough to know how to vote. I think it would help though to know no matter what, Aunt Sally will still love me and Dad won’t shun me for life. We can still love each other. That will never be illegal no matter who’s president and I’d love it if this year especially we could see just a little bit more of that. It’s our calling to love as Christ loved and God, he’s a whole lot bigger than an election and if you follow his guidance, he won’t fail you.

Romans 5:8 (ESV)

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

John 13:34 (ESV)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

Matthew 5:44 (ESV)

 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Broken World

“It’s gonna get better, God’s just working on healing the world.” Many a Christian friend reassures one another.

What if it doesn’t? What if this world does not get better? Will you still believe him? If your faith is based on this world getting better and life getting brighter, I’ve got hard news for you. That faith may fail you. 

Sometimes, even unintentionally, we place our faith in things we believe God can or will do for us. I may believe that because God promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that he has plans to prosper us and not harm, that nothing bad will ever happen, or maybe I believe that even though things may go wrong at times, I’ll somehow strike gold or physically, life will go better for me. It may get better in this life for you. I’m not saying it won’t, I’m just saying don’t believe in the things God can do, believe in God. 

This world, it’s not our home. We all know that, but we don’t always like to admit it. Deep down, we understand that forever is not part of this world’s vocabulary, but we like to enjoy the here and now as much as possible. Yes, we ought to enjoy this life, it’s a gift. Every day brings new mercies and graces, but don’t expect this life. It’s fading quickly. The world may not end tomorrow. I’m not a doomsdayer and don’t expect the world to come crashing down all at once, but it could, would you still believe that God is good? 

We’ve all been through things that are no good. We’ve lost those that are close to us, or at least some close friend or family member. Especially this year with lost jobs, vacations missed, friendships seemingly put on hold. It’s a year that’s broken many of us, but it’s not the end. When you break a glow stick what happens? Pain leads to joy. Sometimes that joy doesn’t come in the morning, but it will come if not until that glorious day. 

Don’t rely on this world getting better. The politicians aren’t our saviors no matter how smart, strong, or kind. They are humans and I hate to say it but this world was never meant to be our home. How can we expect this to be a place we want to stay forever? God has so much more for you sweet child, oh, so much more. Let it go. Breath in the sweet air. He will refresh you and renew your strength. Count every day as joy, but don’t count it as home. It’s a journey. A journey home and someday we’ll get there, but take joy in this journey. 

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

James 1:2 (ESV)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 

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. 

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

It’s Dead, Again

It’s 8 am and you’re just on time to get to work even a little early. Upon opening the car door, you see to your dismay the seat belt jammed between the door so that the battery drained. Was that just me? I’m sure at least one other person has done that. It’s so irritating. No way to fix it especially if the battery’s old and dead beyond resuscitation at least not before work. 

Thankfully, I was able to borrow my friend’s car to get to work, now slightly late, but do you ever wonder how a machine so big and powerful can be stopped with the slightest problem. When more energy is drawn than is received, it won’t start unless you connect it to a greater power source. 

How often do we pour more energy than we have into things? Even if they’re little, the distractions will get you. If you leave the door open, even a crack, how can you expect the motor to start in the morning? What are you investing your energy in? 

In my car, if I turn it on, the alternator charges the battery, restoring the power lost to start the car and continuing to power my radio, lights, and so much more. If I turn on the radio and leave it on, the battery will die. Even if the radio is playing a  great station, it will still run out of juice. If the car is on, the alternator will recharge the battery. Both need to work together to provide these comforts. 

It reminds me of how our faith walk should be. You see, we can minister to others, serve, give, and work our good morals out day and night, but if we aren’t connected to Jesus, we’re going to run out of “juice”. God is love, when we disconnect ourselves from it by making wrong choices or simply not spending time with him, we’re bound to run out of charge. We can’t give love, we aren’t able to receive from the father. 

Sometimes it’s really bad and we need a “heart transplant” in order to recharge and that comes from God alone. Thankfully, he doesn’t charge one hundred thirty-six dollars for the new heart. It was incredibly expensive to him, but he paid the bill too high for us. Now we can have life with our heart transplant through his free gift. 

He’ll give us a jump start any time and is the alternator to our battery.  All he requires of us is faith. Believe in the Lord Jesus my friend and you will be saved. You may get burnt out, your connection might get loose and you’ll definitely need a couple jump starts, but he is always there for you, just believe.

1 John 4:8-9 (ESV)

8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

Exodus 15:2 (ESV)

The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 

Psalm 73:26 (ESV)

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Reality Check: We Have a Problem

Expectations vs. Reality videos are so popular. Rightfully so, they’re absolutely hilarious, but why are they so funny? It’s funny because there’s at least some element of truth. We have expectations, and reality comes in and gives us “truth bombs” we don’t always want to accept. 

We’ve all done it. I know you have at least once in you’re life joked about how you just got a reality check. We joke about how very imperfect things are compared with our expectations. I mean, c’mon, it can’t be THAT hard to make our expectations a realit right? 

None of us want pain. We want things to go a certain way. Many a time I’ve expected my days to go oh-so-perfect, yet those are my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. It isn’t because the day is so bad, there’s nothing wrong with the day except it didn’t meet my expectations. It doesn’t happen only in our plans and days, I find it happens way too much in my walk with God. 

You see, I expect God to show up and he does not, or so I think. I can distinctly remember a time when that happened less than a month ago. I wanted desperately to feel his presence. I was sick of hearing about how God has showed up for others in dreams, visions, out of body experiences, true miracles every one. What’s wrong with that? Why couldn’t I ask that? 

I not only asked, I expected. Yet as I prayed for God to show up, I knew in my heart my intentions were out of order. Yes, I wanted to experience God at a deeper level, but it was more for me than so I could be closer to God. How cool it’d be to speak of how God showed up for me that night. I woke in the morning disappointed and angry that he hadn’t shown up. How could he? How come some people “earn the right” to experience his presence while I sit here with nothing?

If I’d been enjoying my reality, I would have seen the mountains God moved, and looking back, I still see some, but how much did I miss when he whispered in my ear. I was expecting a roar and I got the softest whisper. God shows up. He does every time because he loves us so so much, but he wants us to be close enough feel his breath on our neck as he whispers in our ear. 

This is not to say that God can’t or doesn’t work in huge ways. There’s a difference between faith and expecting God to do things our way. Not to say I know that line, but I know there is a line.

We most certainly ought expect God to work in ways beyond imagination, but if we expect him to follow our ABC’s, we’ll miss the masterpiece he’s painting one stroke at a time. Some strokes may seem small, dare I say insignificant, while others appear vibrant on the canvas of life, but each is necessary to create the beauty none will understand till we’re called home. 

Perfection, that’s what we’re expecting here and, though I’m sure it seems obvious, I’m just going to let you know here and now, it won’t happen. Not in this world not at all. This isn’t our home. You’ll never find the perfect guy, have the perfect kids, live in the perfect house, drive the perfect cars. It won’t happen, so let go of your expectations, so you can embrace every joyful moment of this chaotically intricate masterpiece. Yes, you are a work of art, a masterpiece and loved by the highest of high kings, your father if you’ll let him be.

Proverbs 23:18 (ESV)

Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Control

Control. I’ve always had control since, well, forever in some way shape or form I’ve had at least a fragment of control. At least until recently or so I thought. I always thought somehow I could get myself to point A or do something simply because I set my mind to get it done. How powerless I truly am. 

I make many plans, yet I’m learning how completely incapable I am to bring them to completion. Maybe I want to control my situations because many things before my sixth birthday were so painfully wrong and led to disaster that I could’ve prevented if I’d acted differently. At least that’s what I think. It’s like I know it all worked out for good, but as a protective measure to protect myself from further pain, I try to take control. 

Well, two weeks ago, I lost it. Literally gone. I celebrated my birthday and the next day I went from being a driver with a two and a half year clean record to a person without a license to drive, not because I forgot to renew my license, simply because well long story short the DMV has a lot of unique situation type rules.

“It’s not fair! Every other eighteen-year-old can walk into the DMV having never driven a day in their lives, pass a test and walk out with a license. Why do I have to have a permit for a week and take and pass this test for the third time?” My heart about burst at the injustice. As my face reddened with shame I walked out the door with my permit, no more control than a twelve year old in the passenger seat when their parents are running late in dropping them off for school. 

“Why do I have to be the oddball? The once in ten years situation?” It didn’t feel right or just, it still doesn’t, but God always knows what he’s doing. It wasn’t until I had absolutely no control that I could see how much God cares for me and will do anything to make it work out. Entitled? Oh for sure! I felt entitled all right, but now I realize. I’m suffering an inconvenience for sure, but it’s seven days. 

Imagine living your life never owning a car because you could never afford it. How could one live their life when they have no control over it. So many people live in life threatening situations in which they have no control. Women and children lose husbands and fathers on the battlefield without a final kiss or caress. Farmers lose their crops in one wildfire or tornado, no warning, no way out, complete loss of crop and control. 

I’m no expert, but I’m beginning to grasp that it won’t always be in my control, but often that’s the best situation because I’m more likely to mess it up. It won’t always make sense, but somehow, God is working it together for good. When we live letting go of control on our end is when we live free to see God work miracles that we’d never seen before since we assured him we could do it in our own strength. 

Control. Sometimes, we need to let it go. It’s not easy, it’s just simple. Once you do, buckle up, because you’re gonna see God work in ways you never imagined.

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,  but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

John 15:5 (ESV)

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)

There is a way that seems right to a man,  but its end is the way to death.

Home

This world is not my home. 

That’s my excuse to run every day. Of course, this world is not my eternal home, but that doesn’t mean that I need to live discontentedly in the meanwhile. When the going gets tough all I want to do is run as fast and far as I can think. I don’t have it rough like many do. I don’t even have it remotely bad like some. 

Sure, I get into tense situations, times when I’m overwhelmed and overbooked, but it’s no reason to run. It’s then I realize I need to be still. Not stop what I’m doing per se, but rest in the Lord knowing he’s got this. There have been so many times I’ve been unsure how I’m ever going to make it to the next step. The thought of the next step alone makes me want to tuck my tail and fly to the mountaintop on the other side of the world. Yet if I pause and look back on my life, I have an assurance that I’m going to make it. 

I can’t make it on my own. That’d be utterly impossible. Every time I can recall I’ve been in this place, it’s been a matter of looking to the Lord, (or in some cases running as far as I can from my problems which always made them worse). Always, he’s been there to pick me up when I’m broken, set me on the right path when I’ve wandered, or bolted off.

When there’s no way to get from A to B, he’s already gotten me to C. It’s not a matter of what I do to keep myself put together and on track. It’s a matter of choosing to look to him and trust no matter where I end up he has a reason. Never did I imagine I’d move halfway across America without saying goodbye at six. Hard as it was, I can honestly say God’s worked it for good and still is. It still hurts more than I’d like to admit, but if I hadn’t, I would never have met my best friends who are basically family. I wouldn’t have met a great many people who’ve helped and blessed me so much. God alone knows the choices I would’ve made, the pitfalls I missed.

The private Christian school was full of important learning experiences, but a great many trials I still don’t understand. Public school was interesting, but no place for me. Even still, God’s grace got me through and guarded my heart against many temptations. I’ve failed, I’ve run, and I’m sure I’ve hurt a great many people in the process, but I trust he will work it for good. The God who never once let me fall. Won’t let you fall either. 

Sometimes it feels like you’re falling, but he’ll always catch you. Know that this world is not your home, but trust you don’t have to run to have peace and safety.

It’s easy to look back and see how if only that had happened, your life would be so much better. The thing is there’s no way to know. I think it’s best to trust that God’s working it for the best possible situation not only for his plans but for your life because he cares about you specifically. He loves you dearly my sweet friend.

This world is not my home, but we’re called to embrace God’s plan and not flee from it. I mean, when Jonah discontentedly ran to the other end of the world, it did not go well.

Jonah 1:3 (ESV)

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”