Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Inheritance

Last week, I spent the day with one of my dearest friends, who is leaving at the end of the summer to spend a year doing missions work in Austria. We went to church, where she shared her beautiful heart for the people of Austria and the work she will be doing there, I helped her move, we went shopping, had coffee and dinner and a whole lot of heartfelt conversation.

Lindsey is one of the people that I have been most blessed by in this season. She has always been someone that I have looked up to. Her wisdom and discernment are qualities that I highly esteem, and the time that we had on Sunday to enjoy each other and reflect on the way our relationship has grown in the past three years was like salve for my soul. 

And it made me think - because it wouldn't be me if I didn't find something deep to think about, right?

It made me think about relationships, of all kinds. Family, friends, acquaintances, significant others. They're probably the most influential force in our lives. The way we connect with other people, and the way they impact us, is huge- relationships can be one of the most life-giving or most destructive aspects of life. In my own 21 years, I feel like I've seen the effects of almost every kind of relationship you can have.

I've experienced the way that getting caught up with the wrong people can cause pain and heartache.
I've felt the frustration of growing up with a bratty younger sister.
I've carried the hurt that comes from parental shortcomings.
I've battled with the bitterness of being let down by someone I trusted.
I've walked through the devastation, confusion, and loneliness that follows a messy and heart-shattering breakup.

But I've also felt my heart swell with pride as I watched my baby sister graduate from high school.
I've been held up by the soft-heartedness, wisdom, and support of parents who love me.
I have thanked God for the outstanding quality of my closest friends.
I have known the bliss of being deeply and truly loved by someone, and felt the freedom that comes from being deeply and truly in love.

More than anything else, I have seen the way God uses relationships - like mine with my friend Lindsey - to change our lives.

In this challenging season of my life, I have learned so much of the Lord's exquisite love for us through my community. I have found that in surrounding myself - constantly!- with people who share the same love of Jesus as I, He has been working through those people in my heart. Through my relationships, God has shown me his love, his compassion, his favor, and his joy - and that is so incredible.

So incredible that, even in this time where I am lonely so much, where turning constantly to God's promises for me is the only way that I could possibly get through my day, I feel so much goodness. I feel loved. I feel wanted and celebrated and cherished; I feel like I have a place. A place to call home in an amazing group of men and women that God is using to bless me in a time where so much has changed and been lost.

And this is the truth about my life that I have learned lately: that even when nothing is the way I wanted it to be, even when there is brokenness and pain and sorrow, God still has beautiful things for me. Because I cherish relationships above almost everything else, the Lord chose to show me that beauty through prosperous, encouraging, fruitful relationships, and I'm so thankful.

Maybe it doesn't look that like for everyone - maybe God is working in your life through your job or your ministry or even your solitude. But the point I'm trying to make here, is that I have tasted and seen of His great love for us. And it is so, so great; so much so that even when everything seems like it is falling apart, there is truly so much joy to be found in the treasures that our Father lays up for us to find.

What treasures are you discovering in your life?

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. - Psalm 16:6

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