Sunday, March 31, 2013


I am in awe of this journey. God has done so much in me and has brought me so far in just six weeks - six of the longest, hardest, and fastest-moving weeks of my life. I’m learning what it means to put my trust fully in Him, to let Him alone be the source of my hope. Not a single step of this has been easy, but it’s astounding, really, to look back over the amount of time that has passed since my breakup and to really, truly see how God has been moving in my life and in who I am. 
The biggest thing that I see when I reflect on this time of singleness and loneliness and sadness is that God has been so faithful to me. Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” And this has been such a truth in my life! At the very beginning of this situation, there were times when I felt such despair over being left alone, over losing the person that I love the very most. And even in those times - and oh, how dark they were! - the Lord was with me at every moment, holding me and comforting me and covering me with His grace. 
Another thing I’ve learned is that no matter where you’re at in your life or in your faith, being broken up with leaves a lot of empty spaces in your heart and in your life. And God has been sweetly, gently, gradually filling up those spaces with so much to be thankful for - the friends that I have blogged about that have come alongside me on this really rough road, the family that has always supported me through every mountain and valley of my life, and even an okay-ness (?) with being just by myself. Never in my life have I enjoyed being alone, but God is really drawing me into an appreciation of the truth that even when there are no people around me, I am never truly alone (and how grateful I am for that!!). 
Today was Easter Sunday, and God chose such a perfect time to remind me that He meets our needs exceedingly. A weekend that I thought was going to be full of solitude and memories that would remind me of all the things that are missing from my life, God turned into a precious two days of joy and peace and fellowship and I am so, so thankful. All weekend, I was surrounded by people who encouraged me and welcomed me, and being in the company of so many whom I dearly love just reminded me that even in the midst of so much loss and change, I am so incredibly blessed. Easter is a day that reminds us of Jesus’ miraculous, saving resurrection and revival, and God indeed reminded me today that in order for Him to raise something from the dead, it has to die first! I truly feel like so much in my heart and in my life is dead, and I am so hopeful in the knowledge that God brings beauty out of ashes. So many things in my life are sitting in big, yucky piles of ash, and I’m so glad that I serve a God who promises to restore those things. I am so hopeful to see how that will happen, what it will look like, and when, but after such an encouraging weekend I feel such a renewed strength to continue forward and to keep waiting on the Lord. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thankfulness - 3.30.13

This is absolutely the last thing I thought I would ever be saying right about now, but at this very moment,
I am completely in love with my life.
I have the most amazing family and friends - I have been so, so blessed. It astounds me, really, that even when so much is going completely wrong, I have so much to be thankful for. 
Thank you, Lord. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

TGFGF - Thank God for Good Friday

Today was one of the worst Fridays of my entire life. Top five for sure. It was emotional, stressful, difficult... the whole nine yards. 
But you know what else today was? Today was our reminder that two thousand years ago, Jesus was nailed to a cross and took the fate that we deserved. He declared “Tetelestai” - it is finished. Our sins were declared null and void and our debt was paid in full! He died to defeat the death that would have otherwise conquered our lives. He stood in the gap for us, petitioned to the Father on our behalf, tore the veil and made a way for us to be in relationship with our King. He gave us grace
How beautiful! What an amazing blessing - there are no words. God sent his perfect, blameless son to save us from ourselves, to give us the promise of life
So, actually, I’d say it was a pretty Good Friday after all. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thankfulness - 3.28.13

Today, I am thankful for friends who welcome you into their lives, rejoice in your triumphs and care for you in your struggles.
Today, I am thankful that even when everything seems like it’s going wrong, God is still sovereign, God is still good, and God is a God who loves his people deeply and fervently. I am thankful that when it seems like everything is broken, God is still moving even when you can’t see and that he is speaking his promises into your life, even when you can’t hear. 

Thankfulness - 3.27.13

Tonight, I am thankful for the friend that has been there for me in great times and in hard times, the big sister that has always encouraged me into just being me. The one who has always given me freedom to say what I say and feel what I feel, the one who has always understood. The one who has taught me and challenged me, the one who laughs when I laugh and cries when I cry. 
We are so different - really, hardly alike at all - and yet she is the friend with whom I have grown the most, the one who welcomes and invites and listens and hears, the one who needs no explanations but just comes alongside me in friendship as we fight for each other through this crazy mess called life
I am so blessed by you, and I am so, so thankful for you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Counting Up the Cost

Okay. So I realize my last post was a little dramatic. 
But seriously - this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, the most I’ve ever had to give up.
But as Rend Collective Experiment says so beautifully, I’ve counted up the cost and Jesus is worth it. Worth everything. I always ask God “what would you have me do to serve you better?” And he asked for this.
It’s not the end of the world. By no means- I’m only 20! Sure, there is loss and sadness and regret in my situation. There are things I am and am going to miss out on. I’m sure anyone can relate to those feelings. But my God wants to bless me - I know this to be true! - and so He redeems those things. He replaces sorrow with joy! And if this is what He would have me give, if this is what He would ask of me in exchange for something better and brighter and so much more beautiful, how could I not run headlong into this new season? (now let’s actually put that one into practice.)
A few weeks ago at church, my pastor’s wife was teaching on Jesus coming to the temple, infuriated that vendors and merchants were defiling a place of worship by turning it into a place of business. And something that she said during that sermon struck me so hard about my situation - we will never everhave anything good enough to offer Jesus as a sacrifice. 
Personally, is this a sacrifice? Absolutely. Like I said, I’ve never had to give up so much before. Ever. But here’s a whammy of a new perspective: Jesus isn’t asking us for sacrifices. He’s asking us for obedience, and for reasonable acts of worship.
This is a hard season. A challenging one. I’m learning new lessons every daysecond. But trials only last for a short time in the grand scheme of an eternity of joy that the Lord will bless us with if we seek Him, and so I offer this up as a reasonable act of worship to the One who gave it all

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This Is Not A Movie

You know that part of the movie, the part where everything has gone completely wrong? Relationships are broken, things have been lost, no one is with the person they're supposed to be with (the one you've been rooting for the whole time), and the main character is alone in a bathroom and slides down the tile wall and cries? 

In the movie of my life, that's the part I'm in.

Except this is real life, and it lasts for a hundred years instead of for only two hours, so the lonely broken bathroom part can last for ages instead of just for ten minutes. 

Except this is real life, so there's no guarantee that it's going to work out just right in the end (because who would choose to watch a movie that doesn't have a happy ending?). 

Except this is real life, so there is no dramatic, romantic, climactic moment when the man realizes that it's all just been a big mistake and rushes to save his damsel in distress. 

This is real life, and the pain is real and the loss is real and the loneliness is real. But you know what else is real? Something that they hardly ever have in those movies? The thing that is really the most important part of the movie?

God is real. My entire life has been turned upside down, nothing is the way I wanted it to be, and all of my dreams and plans have been completely scrapped. The pages ripped out. The script erased. And yet, in so much brokenness and sadness, in the swirl of everything completely changing in one single moment, God has stayed the same. Just as firm, just as constant, just as good as he was yesterday and the day before and will be tomorrow and the day after. 

I've always been such a firm believer in fairytales, in the thrilling, perfect, blissful love that we read about in books and watch in movies. I've also always been a firm believer in the truth lie that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself... you have to plan it out, you have to control it, you have to just make it happen. But God is showing me that the only way to have a happily ever after, the only way to have the desires of your heart, is to just let them go.

Shut up. How ridiculous. 

But really. I had absolutely no choice in the way my fairytale ended up going. I fell madly in love with an incredible man and a year and a half later, it all came crashing down. So now, all I can do is just give it to God. Every day, I just take a deep breath, lay all of my desires and expectations down, and move. Forward. Into the day. Step after step. One foot in front of the other. 

It's miserable. It's lonely. It's hard. I cry. But all I have now are the promises of the Lord, and so I cling to him. It's the only way. It's all I can do. I have strength for nothing else, and so every day I just pick up my cross and follow him. Luke 1:45 says "Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her." And I'm believing... I'm hoping, enduring this and doing my best to be faithful and obedient and to walk in confidence and grace. I'm determined to worship Him, even as I'm waiting on Him.

And I realize that in these things, God isn't just going to give me a happily ever after, the end. He's going to give me life, and life more abundantly! So why would I ever settle for a happily ever after of my own engineering, when I can just let God write my story for me and have the rest of my life to find joy in Him, who never ever fails? He says that his plans are better than ours, that he will exceed our wildest expectations... and so for that, I will wait. Patiently. Expectantly. Hopefully. Faithfully. And always, always moving forward. 

Real Love Is Not Afraid To Bleed

I’m saying yes to You
And no to my desires
I’ll leave myself behind
And follow You

I’ll walk the narrow road
‘cause it leads me to You
I’ll fall but grace
Will pick me up again

I’ve counted up the cost
Oh I’ve counted up the cost
Yes I’ve counted up the cost
And You are worth it

I do not need safety
As much as I need You
You’re dangerous
But Lord You’re beautiful

I’ll chase You through the pain
I’ll carry my cross
‘cause real love
Is not afraid to bleed

Take my all
Take my everything

I’ve counted up the cost
And You’re worth everything

Monday, March 25, 2013

Days Like Today

There are days, awful days, just like today, when you just want to punch all the people in the face and cry. And even more than you want those things, you want everything to be good and joyous and normal again. But  you can't do anything whatsoever to make it that way, and you pray and cry out and listen to all the right worship songs but still it's just miserable...
But then beautiful friends swoop in out of nowhere, tell you they understand where you're at and that it's okay. They pick you up, help you dust yourself off, and remind you that

You are strong
and beautiful
and cared for
and capable - because God is bigger. 

And then, even though things are still pretty miserable, somehow you feel like you can get to the end of this in one piece. And that, in fact, you'll come out stronger at the end than you ever thought you could. That, indeed, you're going to have a beautiful story to tell. 

Thank God that you have friends like that.
Or that I do.