Healing Happens

I have a message for you, healing happens, that’s all, thank you.

Truly that is all I want to get on here and say, but I’ll elaborate a little more. A few days ago (last Saturday to be exact) I was driving into town. Not even two minutes into driving down the road I was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of healing. I almost began crying, it was that powerful. I honestly don’t know how to describe it to you. It was like something broke down in my heart and my heart felt normal again. For that moment I felt like my pain wasn’t there. It was gone and all I could think about was God’s love covering me.

I’ve been hurting for so long and I think when you hurt for a long time sometimes you just get used to pain always being a part of your life. You have good days where you feel better, but there is still hurt hiding under the surface. I feel like I’ve kinda just accepted the fact that this was gonna be my life. I was going to have to learn how to live with the pain always being a part of me. But in one amazing, God filled moment, I felt healing touch my heart in such an amazing way. I truly believe God’s spirit had come down and filled up my car.

I’m not saying that all my pain is miraculously all gone after that moment. But I can tell you that something changed. I feel like I’m viewing my life now with healing eyes. If that makes any sense? The hurt and regrets are still there but it doesn’t hurt as much. In a way it’s like the wound on my heart is finally not bleeding anymore. It’s healed up, I can finally take the band-aid off, but there is still a scar left.

God put these words in my heart while I was driving – “healing happens”. And then God made it clear that I needed to share those words. Not exactly sure what to do or how to share those words, I grabbed my phone began sharing this message through my instagram account and by texting a close friend. And here I am writing this message and sharing it with you now.

Guys, I am going to say it again, healing happens! It takes time, but it happens. It’s been almost four months of hurting for my heart to get here and I know that as time continues I’ll continue to heal. Whatever you are going through, keep on trusting in God. Keep on following God and choosing to obey Him down every path had puts before you. There will be hard days but the hard days won’t compare to the overwhelming feeling of love that surrounds your heart when healing finally comes. As you are walking through your storm, let this be the anthem that keeps you strong – healing is going to happen. If you have experienced His amazing and supernatural healing then let us praise our God who loves us so much and gives us healing!

A Loving God

I am just overwhelmed by how good God is!

Guys, I can’t believe how much God loves me. I had a hard but also very wonderful past few days. I drove down to an outdoor adventure camp I work at to spend a few days cooking and rafting. I was happy to be at this place, but it was also so hard. This was the place where I met him. Just being at camp makes me think of all the memories I’ve had with him. It made my heart hurt so much. Not only were the memories hard, but many of the staff that I was working with had their significant other with them and it made me feel so lonely. Seeing couples doing what couples do at a place where I use to hang out with him really made my heart ache.

So, as you might guess, I got really sad. I was doing great, serving the campers that came and loving on them as I worked in the kitchen. But after one long day when I was done working I layed down and I couldn’t hide the pain anymore. I let the tears fall down. I just had this overwhelming sense of needing to feel loved. I didn’t know what to do. I was to unsure about seeking out love from the other staff so I took my Bible and found a quiet place to read. In a very raw and scratchy voice (my voice is always a bit scratchy after crying), I said “God, I just need you to comfort me and bring me the right passage from you word that will comfort me.” I then randomly opened up my Bible to chapter 3 in Ecclesiastes. And my heart just about burst.

This was the chapter where it talks about there being a time for everything. My eyes fixated on the parts of the passage that said “there is a time for mourning, a time for healing, a time to weep, a time for lose, a time to to break down.” All these things reminded me that it’s okay to feel the hurt still. That just like there is a time to be happy and joyful and a time to love, there is also a time for healing and all the painful emotions. I kept on reading to verse 11 where it says “He has made everything beautiful in His time.” I prayed and thanked God for this beautiful reminder from His word that he is working in my life and I read that passage out loud over and over again until I felt better.

I know that God loves me so much because I was broken, I came to Him in my hurt and simply asked Him to give me what I needed. I wasn’t expecting anything big. Maybe just a Psalm that I could relate to. But my heart is overwhelmed because God heard me and he cared for me in my time of hurting. He gave me what I needed and it encouraged my heart so much.

And there is more! God is just so good, you guys. That same night, after I began to feel better I went to campfire with the group that we were serving at the camp. One of the leaders shared a message that night. In his message he shared about a hard experience he witnessed and the peace of God. His main point in his message was that in life we will face hard times but throughout each hard time we go through God is able to give us peace and joy. The fact that he said peace and joy was just amazing. Every single day when I pray, I have been specifically asking for peace and joy in my life. I haven’t been praying for just peace, but peace and joy. The fact that he paired both those things together and shared how they can be ours during hard times really touched my heart. I knew without a doubt God was looking down on me and covering me in His love. I’m also thankful that the next day I had a chance to personally thank the man who shared his story and tell him that I was going through a hard time and his message was such an encouragement to me.

I’m back home now and enjoying some rest after a fun trip on the river (which may and may not have included me falling out of the boat during one of the big rapids and taking a little swim). I’m still a bit sad because memories are something I can’t easily forget. But I’m also just in awe at how God came through and gave me what I needed. Oh how much our God loves us! It’s these little moments when we are at our end, when our darkest hurts feel so real, that God gives us just what we need to keep going. God loves us enough to say keep following me and here is what you need to keep going.

I’m ready to keep trusting Him and keep following Him because I know that God loves me so much. We truly have such a loving God!

Triggers

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel completely better.

I had another rough weekend. It really was just a normal weekend, but sadness kept seeping up into my heart until it was too much. I crashed and I cried. I felt like there was this huge weight on my shoulders from pasting a smile on my face each day and ignoring all the pain that is still in my heart.

This week I realized how quickly the feelings can come back when it is triggered by something. A walk into Home Depot reminding me of the hours I spent with him in that store. A trip to the climbing gym alone, which used to be our favorite activity together. An outing with my church’s college group and one of the guys turns and for a short second he is the spitting image of him. Accomplishing something exciting in my life and realizing I can’t share it with him anymore. Scrolling through social media and seeing pictures of not just one, but three people I know getting married.

Some days I wonder if he is moving on with his life too. Guys, I’ll be honest with you, on my lowest days, the temptation to text him is so real. I hate these constant triggers that keep popping up in my life to remind me of all the things I miss about him. I know I’m on the right path, but it’s not an easy path.

Sometimes I wonder what am I supposed to do? It would be foolishness for me to hide away in my room and avoid all the triggers that bring back hard memories. No, I know that even though these triggers happen, I need to still go out. I need to keep living and make new memories that can replace the old ones. But it’s still hard and my heart is still so raw. I think I understand now why heart wounds take forever to heal, and oftentimes never completely heal.

But I don’t want this to be a sad post. Even though I’ve been feeling a bit discouraged, I don’t want to discount all the good God has been doing in my life. He has brought so many amazing opportunities into my life this summer to serve Him. I’m going to be so busy serving him and working with a few camp ministries. I am continuing to be overwhelmed each day by God’s continued faithfulness to me.

In my Bible study we just finished up the study of Joseph. It may seem strange, but my favorite part of the story of Joseph was when after he had been raised to power in pharaoh’s kingdom and he said that God had made him forget the pain of his youth. Oh how my heart latched onto that verse. I’ve read the story of Joseph so many times and just skipped over that verse. But now I am finding myself repeating that verse to myself over and over. This morning I even prayed that verse over my situation. I know that just like Joseph, someday I’ll be able to say the same thing about my life. I long for that day when I can say that all this pain was worth it and that the blessings God has for me is enough to make me forget all of my hurt.

Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

Genesis 41:51-52

I know that as time goes on I will begin to make new memories. I’ll make new friends. I’ll create new experiences to replace the old ones. As time goes on, the triggers won’t hurt so much. It’s still early in my healing process. I know I still have more sad days to come. But oh how thankful I am for all my good days and all the joy that I have continue to find in God.

A New Change

Hey all!

I feel like it’s been awhile. Honestly, I’ve been doing really good. I’m realizing that if you don’t hear much from me on this blog it probably means I’m staying busy and I’m thriving because most of my writings are the product of strong feelings of hurt and pain. But, even though I’m doing good, I thought I’d still pop back in and say hi and give a little update.

I’m realizing now, when I look back, that a lot of things in my life have changed. I have this new feeling, like I’m at the beginning of a new season. I feel like I’m starting again, starting fresh. My hurt and pain is beginning to become less and less consuming. It’s not gone, but most of the time I have so much joy from the Lord and depression only comes if it gets triggered by some experience or memory. After having days where I couldn’t think without crying, it feels so good to be in this place.

Also, you may have noticed in the picture above, I decided to do a “physical change” too and change up my hair a bit. Welcome summer hair cut! This is the shortest I’ve ever cut my hair and it’s also the first time I’ve done this much highlights.

I’ve been wanting to do this to my hair for awhile but once I got home from the salon I honestly was shocked. I was not used to the person I kept seeing in the mirror. Initially I wanted the highlights to be a little more subtle. Somehow what ended up happening was close, but not exactly what I pictured in my head. It’s still the style I want and I’m learning how to rock it. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it from everyone. But for me, it has been taking me awhile to really ‘love’ it because I have always seen myself with long and dark hair.

As I think about this experience I had with having to get used to my new haircut and not instantly ‘loving‘ it right away, it kinda makes me think about life. Life is actually a lot like my haircut experience. We all have plans for how we want our life to go. But when things don’t go as planned, when you get home from the salon and realize the haircut looks a bit different than we had hoped. It can be hard to accept the sudden change. After the rough break-up, it took me three months to get to this place here; finally content and happy with the new direction God is bringing into my life. And even after these three months, I’m still healing.

It’s good to remember that the change isn’t bad. Just like how my haircut wasn’t a bad haircut. After a few days of learning how to style it and seeing myself with the highlights I have come to really love it. When drastic change happens to our life, we need to take time to evaluate it. We need to soak in what is happening. We have to look in the mirror and get used to the new person that God is calling us to be. We also may need to learn how to style our life again. A huge reason I didn’t instantly like my haircut was because I didn’t have much experience with styling short hair. When change happens in our life the unknown can be scary. Accepting the change is going to require us to learn new learn skills and rely deeper on God.

And somedays, as you probably have experienced, we will have bad hair days. We will see the new path our life is taking and desperately want the old life back. But in the end, it really is just a bad hair day and it can be fixed with a little bit of effort. When I get overwhelmed by my emotions, I’m encouraged that it’s just my emotions and when the next day comes, I feel better. When we fix our eyes back on God, He reminds us that He has such good plans for us. God shows us how to fix up our life again so we can keep following after Him.

Whatever change God is bringing into your life, maybe your first reaction is to cringe. Maybe it’s to hide. When God throws you a huge, unexpected curveball in life, it’s going to take time for you to truly grasp what God is doing. But you can trust that in time, you’ll see that God truly is doing something beautiful. Over time you’ll learn how to, not just walk, but thrive in the new season God has called you too. It time you’ll see that change, when it is from God, is oh so good.

So are you ready to accept the change in your life. I sure am! I feel so ready and confident that God has great plans for me. He was with me through the dark season and now as I begin to see light again, all I can do is rejoice.

(Also, I hope you enjoyed my little haircut story. I find it strange how well it applies to what I’ve been learning about God and my life)

The Way God Leads…

Have you ever wondered how God leads His people?

Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it looks like when God leads His people. I used to really wonder sometimes if God truly does speak to his people even today and lead them down certain paths or does he just let us choose our own path? God has never audibly spoken to me so I found it hard to understand God’s leading in others people lives when I had no personal experience of my own. But I have now come to a place where I have strongly felt and seen God’s leading in my life. God has made it known to my heart in amazing ways the path I’m supposed to walk down. Also, God’s leading in my life has been very unique and different than what I always imagined it would be. So I wanted to just spend a little bit of time today talking about what this has looked like for me in my life.

First thing I want to say, though, is that God leads everyone differently. I remember at the beginning of this hard walk I’m on, I wanted God to verbally speak to me. I waited in the silent, dark, night, but God didn’t speak to me in the way I wanted Him to. God spoke to me in other ways that night. But even though God didn’t speak verbally to me, I do believe that God does still verbally speak to some of His children. That’s why as I share with you about the ways that God has been leading me, I want to also acknowledge that these are not the only ways that God can lead his children. The way God leads you will be unique to your personality and to your story.

One of the biggest things I’m noticing about God leading me is that it’s a day by day process. I will confess that at the beginning of this walk I wanted all the answers right away. I thought, if God is going to tell me to take this path, then I need to know where this path will end. But God didn’t tell me in advance what to do. This is what He did do – with each new turn in the path that I came to, God was faithful to tell me what to do. I’m just so amazed when I look back at how in each moment God made it clear to me what to do.

Back in January God led me to make the decision to move with my family. I didn’t know for how long God wanted me to be in this new place, just that it was what God wanted me to do. I remember just feeling a strong burning sense of knowing that I needed to move to this new place and I knew that was God speaking to me. At first, I ignored that feeling until I got a specific question from a dear friend that lead me to seriously seek God and trust that this move truly was God’s will for my life. Then, soon after I decided that God was leading me to move with my family, God brought me to make the decision to take two months of space (no contact or communication in any way) from the relationship I was in. For some reason I had the idea of two months in my head, then I had dinner with a dear family and the stories they shared with me about their relationship confirmed in my heart that God wanted me to set a time of space from each other before deciding on anything.

Now that I am on the other side of the two months, I truly believe God was the one who put that in my head. Because here’s the crazy thing. I spent basically all of that two months not knowing what I was going to do next, but I believed with all my heart God would reveal to me the answer at the end of the two months. The first month I focused on God and prayed a lot for change to happen in him so I could have the relationship back. I was full of hope that God was gonna restore it all back to me in the end. But in the middle of the two months I found myself so overwhelmed and full of fear because I just didn’t know what God was going to do and I was scared about things not going my way. I kept telling myself not to worry because at the end of the two months God would make the next step clear. I had no idea the great ways that God was working on my heart in those two months.

When I finally came to the end, and not before, God had changed my heart. He made it clear to me that His path for me was to leave the relationship. God honestly gets all the credit for what happened because only days before the two months ended, I was still wanting things to work out. My sister told me that God did a miracle on my heart and honestly, I couldn’t agree more. I keep telling people it was like night and day – I woke up one day, the week that the two months was going to come to an end and I felt like I had new eyes and I saw things differently. I knew what God was telling me to do and for the first time I felt like I could do it.

Guys, let me tell you, our God is amazing and He is faithful. I am just awestruck at how God’s leading and direction came through for me in these last few months. He has always been faithful to show me the next step to take, and I’m beginning to see now that God doesn’t usually reveal to me what that next step is until I get to it. So when it comes to God’s leading in my life, I’m realizing that it looks a lot like resting in the fact that the future is unknown and all can do is follow God each day, trusting that God will make the next step clear in His timing. As I seek God, I know when the time is right, God will put the right thought in my heart or use the right question or word from a friend at the time my heart needs to hear it.

I also gotta say that it takes a lot of faith to live each day not knowing where God will lead me next. I’m a planner and not a day goes by I don’t stress about or get anxious about the big unplanned future ahead of me. But I’m also learning that this is such a sweet and exciting place to be! I’m living my life ready to say yes to whatever the next step is that God has for my life.

This post is getting a bit long and when I started this post I didn’t intent for the content to basically be a little peek into on my life these past few months. I ended up sharing quite a bit of personal stuff in this post because I feel like leaving out certain parts doesn’t give justice to the story of how God has been faithful to lead me. If you ever ask me if God is visibly at work in my life and this world, I will give you the biggest smile and most resounding, “Yes!” God is so real and He is so present in the lives of his Children! He Has truly led me in great ways and that’s what I hope and pray you will see from my story.

So if you ever find yourself wondering how God leads His people, this is what I hope you can remember – God does it in His timing and in His way. There are many ways God may lead you as you seek Him, it might be through certain people in your life or through a burning feeling or desire. But always remember that true clarity about God’s leading may not come until the time is right. God wants us to be so in tune with trusting in Him that we are ready to follow Him in faith with the uncertainty in our life. As we trust God with the unknowns in our life He will reveal the next step to us in His timing.

I Am Joseph

What is the right response to suffering?

This question has been on my mind a lot lately and God has been so gracious each time my heart has a question like this one to guide me to the right answer and example in scripture. In my Bible study, we are still working our way through Genesis. I’ve talked about Abraham, Job, Jacob, and even David on this blog. Are you ready for the next Bible character that I’m finding myself in. If you know your bible, you may be able to guess which one comes next. It’s Joseph! And oh boy, what an amazing story is Joseph’s story. It’s a story full of unfair and unjust suffering, but one that is overflowing with God’s goodness and good purposes!

I’m not gonna lie to you, I’ve kinda created a new little saying that I keep telling myself each day. I’ve been saying “I am Joseph”. As I read the story of Joseph and look at my life, I keep finding myself saying “I am Joseph”. In my Bible study, we were discussing the life of Joseph and the sudden onset of suffering he faced. Joseph went from being the most favored/spoiled child to becoming a slave all in less than a day. I was thinking to myself, “wow, I wonder what it must have felt like to have everything and then lose everything”. Then I literally felt like I had my eyes opened up to the fact that, that is my story. I saw an almost identical pattern in a way my life has been these past few months. Only months ago I was so happy. I was finally on the verge of all my dreams coming true. I was engaged and in the process of starting a life with someone and oh it was bliss. But then it ended so fast. One thing after another came to light and before i knew it, it was all gone.

I AM JOSEPH. I can feel the same hurt and pain and disappointment that he must have felt. All his dreams, gone. All his family and friends gone. His life suddenly taking a completely different route and an unwanted move to a new location. (Okay, wow, there really are a lot of similarities here, granted I still have my family and friends, but I moved to a new area and have been struggling to get connected so I do relate in a way to the loneliness and I do in a way also feel like I lost a family because how close I became to his family).

There really is not a lot of good happening in Joseph’s story, but if you keep reading the story of Joseph there is something very encouraging. It is said at least three times in the book of Genesis that God was with Joseph. In each season of suffering Joseph faced, Joseph had every right to complain and despair. Maybe he did at times, but the Bible never mentions it. Instead Joseph rose to the top of every situation he found himself in. He was greatly blessed and God gave him success in all he did. Even as a slave Joseph rose to high favor. And let me tell you something, you cannot rise to favor if all you ever do is complain about how bad your luck has been.

I imagine Joseph must have known that God was with him. How else could he have had the faith to keep on going without despairing. His pain had to have been great. And I’m not saying he no longer felt the pain and hurt that his brothers inflicted on him. Later in Genesis Joseph says “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” So obviously, his pain during this time was constantly on his mind. But what Joseph shows us here is how to rightly respond when suffering happens and we have no control over it. We must get up and keep going. We have the choice to either wallow in our self pity and despair, or make the best out of whatever situation we find ourselves in. I’ve gotta believe that when we choose the latter, God truly blesses it, just like he blesses Joseph.

God blessed Joseph and gave him favor in each place he found himself in. In Potiphar’s house, he rose to leadership. In prison, he rose to leadership. Then, lastly, in Pharaoh’s kingdom, he rose to leadership. None of these places Joseph found himself in were places he wanted to be. In fact, if he had the choice to go back to his family, I’m sure he would take it without even looking back. I can tell you that there are definitely times in my life that I wish I could just go back to those happy days and forget about the pain. But I have no control over the place I’m in right now which is why Joseph’s story has been so encouraging to me. I’m learning from Joseph’s story that God’s will for me in this season is to keep on trusting Him and to find ways to keep on serving Him even while I’m hurting.

I also want to talk a bit about the end of Joseph’s story. As I’m sure you are familiar with how in the story of Joseph we get to see how all his suffering would one day make sense and play a role in God’s amazing plan. God used Joseph to be the means of saving many nations, including Israel, from a devastating famine. Joseph became a great leader in Egypt, a wise man who was full of integrity. But if he became a ruler in Egypt right away without first spending years as a slave and in prison, I don’t believe he’d be the same ruler. God was using the hard seasons of suffering in his life to teach him how to be humble and also how to lead and manage other people. When God’s time was right, Joseph was given one of the most coveted positions in all Egypt. Truly, Joseph was finally able to say that God had taken all his sorrow away.

I think that it’s so encouraging to see how God was using Joseph’s suffering to position him in the right place at the right time to bring provision to God’s people. God was preparing Joseph for something greater. And that is what God is doing when we suffer! God is preparing us for something bigger, better, and greater. God is using all the suffering in our life for his good purposes. Often times, like Joseph, we can’t see the whole picture of what God is doing while we are in the middle of it. Maybe all we see is the pain and unending waiting. But we can hold onto the truth that God is going to work all things out our for good and God will be with us, as He was with Joseph.

So yes, I am Joseph! And maybe as you look at your life, you are Joseph too. Maybe God has brought sudden or unjust suffering into your life. The big question to ask yourself then is “what is my response?” Remember, it’s okay to feel hurt and pain. In fact, if you don’t feel any pain as you suffer I’d be worried that something is wrong with you. What really matters the most is what you do with the hurt? Do you dwell on it and let it lead you to despair. Or do you get up and keep on chasing after God and serving him in the place your at, trusting that God is going to do something great through it.

Let us hold onto the truth that God is always with us through every trial we face. Every season of suffering has a purpose that we may not be able to see until the time is right. But we can know this, God is taking us down these hard paths because he wants to prepare us and make us into something greater! God’s purposes for your life are so much greater than whatever it is you have lost, so let’s be like Joseph and keep on suffering well in this life!

Ebb and Flow

You wanna know the honest truth about life in the hard seasons?

One day you may feel amazing and so happy. You reach these highs and have the fullest sense of peace and joy. And then the next day you are back in the valley. Feelings of hurt, sadness, disappointment, and grief are back. A few days ago I knew I was right in the will of God. I felt so much peace and joy in Christ. I knew exactly what God was leading me to do and I did it. Now as the gravity of what I did sinks in, I’m somewhat surprised to find myself feeling kinda sad again.

This idea has been in my head the past few days. Feelings Ebb and flow. They come and they go. We feel good and happy one day and then we feel sad again and that’s normal. The more I walk down this long path of uncertainty and surrendered desires, I’m realizing that I can’t always trust any of my feelings. My feelings would have lead me down a dark and hard road if I followed them.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to feel certain ways. I can’t always stop myself from feeling happy or sad. I can’t change my circumstances either. But I find this to be helpful. When I’m in the valley, there is one thing I can change. I can change my view. I choose to acknowledge my feelings and then I take them to God. I remind myself that God is with me and He is the one who lead me to this valley. When I look to God instead of my feelings I find peace in knowing that God has a purpose for each and every hard season I walk through. I find strength in the unchanging nature of God that gives me clarity over all of my changing feelings.

So all I’m trying to say in this post is that feelings ebb and they flow. If you felt so happy and content in God one day and then your down in the dumps again the next day, don’t stress yourself out. God is still with you even though your feelings may have changed. Choose to set your eye’s back on God when the days get hard again. Find comfort in God who is your Rock. Don’t forget all the ways he is leading you and caring for you and choose to trust that he will keep leading you and caring for you. The place your at and even the feelings you experience all have a good and perfect place in God’s plan for your life. Choose to walk with God through the good feelings and the bad ones, understanding that they will ebb and flow, and that’s okay.

Something New…

Hey all!

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a post. I found myself busy with life and believe it or not, actually thriving. I didn’t have any sudden urges to write on here like I usually do when I am hurting. Since writing for me is like a coping method, maybe this is a good thing. Maybe my broken heart is finally healing. Still, I figured It’s about time for another post. This post is a kinda different, it’s like a little update about something God is beginning to plant in my heart. Bear with me as I try to be a bit vulnerable and express it in writing.

Only a few weeks ago I was in despair. I had this overwhelmingly strong sense of not being able to wait any longer. It was also the same week that was supposed to be “our” wedding day. I realize that the significance of that day had a lot to do with why my heart was hurting so much. But I got through that weekend and I only cried a few times. I felt like getting through that weekend was yet another step in the process of letting go and moving forward. I came to a point in my hurting and grief where I took all my hurt and my desires and gave them to God.

And something happened after that weekend. It is as if I’m seeing things differently for the first time. I have been holding onto hope for so long to have this relationship restored. I have been ready to jump whenever I get the green light to go forward again. But suddenly I am feeling like I don’t want it back. I feel like I am seeing for the first time the major things that were missing in the relationship and I don’t want to be back in that place. This is such a hard thing for me to process. Somedays I feel so confident I want to completely walk away, and other days I find myself still grieving all the good things I came to love about him. But most days I feel so close and loved by God that I forget about all of it. My walk with God has never been sweeter and I don’t want to give up this new closeness to God to chase after the things my heart wants.

To be honest, I never ever thought I’d get to this place, actually starting to desire something different, something better. I’ve been stuck on him for so long, my mind is having trouble adapting to this new idea. I have been waking up each day asking myself why do I feel this way? Is God really changing my heart? My inside is in constant turmoil, but I feel confident that God is in this. God is doing something. God is becoming more to me and I’ve decided I am truly willing to follow Him down whatever path He has for me and I don’t want to settle.

Anyway, all these feelings are still pretty new to me so I’m still learning how to process them. But for now, I’m once again reminded that the best thing to do right now is to follow God each day, choose Him each day, and live for Him each day. As I do that, I won’t have to worry about the rest of my life falling into place because I’ll be right where God wants me to be.

Content

Today I feel content

It’s the first time in a long time I’ve felt this way. And it’s strange. Nothing changed in my circumstances. I’m still in the same place, still not sure what God is going to do. But I it’s as if my whole outlook on things has been flipped around.

Only a few days ago I found myself consumed by stress and worry. I was having so many overwhelming feelings of despair and sadness. I actually began to be seriously worried about myself because of how depressed I was getting (I was having little panic attacks, and I never, ever, have panic attacks). But last Sunday, in the middle of those painful feelings, I decided to reach out to a few people. I asked for prayer. Then I went outside and rode my bike. I found a quiet place, I talked to God. I could feel all the inner turmoil inside me. I saw all the plans I had in my heart and I saw that I was holding onto them so tightly. I knew I had already surrendered these things to God, but somehow I found them once again in my hand. And I had a deathgrip on them.

But as I prayed and shared with God my heart something began to happen. My hand began to loosen up. I began to realize that it doesn’t matter how much I want certain things to happen in my life. God is the one who orchestrates all things. No amount of me wanting it can make it happen if it’s not in God’s will. And no amount of me worrying about it can stop it from happening if it is a part of God’s plan. God is the one who has brought me to this hard place I am in now. He was been with me all this time and I know that He will continue to be with me. I finally realized that I had to let go…again.

And the next day you won’t believe what happened! I woke up with such supernatural peace! I swear I was a different person. All the fear and worry I that I was drowning in the day before was suddenly gone. As I went about my day I started to get this new feeling. A feeling of “I’m content.” I’m content to stay here in this place. I’m content to keep waiting until God shows me where He is going to lead me. I wasn’t depressed anymore. Instead I was happy and I felt overwhelmingly content with the life I have right now. It once again clicked in my head that this is where God wants me to be right now and I can rest in Him.

Real quick, I want to make a interesting observation here. There is something strange I’ve noted that always happens to me right before I receive some sort of direction or answer from God. I find myself overwhelmed with so many feelings. I cry and tears flow down my cheeks in a steady stream (which isn’t normally how I cry). I can tell that these tears are different. Usually I’m in the process of doing what I know God wants me to do and I am crying because it’s not an easy choice. My whole body, and especially my arms shake (which is also not normal for me at all). The last time my body was in a distressed state like this was the first time I surrendered my situation to God. And the day after I surrendered I also was filled with the same kind of peace. I just find it so interesting how my body reacts noticeable different the day before God leads me to do something involving surrender and how it’s always followed by peace.

Anyway, as I try to bring this post to an end, I just want to say how thankful I am to God for the new peace He’s given me. I know it comes only from Him. But I also want to tell you that even though I have this peace, I still have my hurts and my desires didn’t completely go away. I still have days where I’m sad and I miss my ‘old’ life. I also understand that the hurt and sadness I experience is normal and only time can take it away. We live in a world full of sin and sadness and I’m realizing that until we are in heaven with Jesus there will be pain and hurt in our lives. But I no longer feel like I need things to happen my way anymore. I feel like I can rest now in knowing that whatever happens will be the path God wants me to take.

This new place I’m in right now is a good place to be! Honestly, I never thought I’d get to this place, especially after such a rough few days. But here I am and how Good is our God! After so much fighting and crying, my heart welcomes this peace and rest. God has finally shown me how to be content right here 😉

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:11-13

A New Spring

Today is the first day of Spring

I don’t know why, but this brings so much encouragement to my heart. Spring is a time a new beginnings. New starts. New life. Flowers start to bloom again after being dead for so long. The sun comes out and warms up the earth. Life returns from the dead and the world once again is full of so much beauty. This is the kind of message that I need.

I need to be reminded that there are new starts, new beginnings. A broken life can rise up from the dead and be beautiful again. After a winter of hurt and heartache, there is hope for joy again. God doesn’t leave us in the cold dark winter forever. Spring always follows winter. Spring reminds me of the hope I have in God.

Now that spring is here, I am suddenly filled with new hope. I am ready for this winter in my heart to be over. I can’t help but wondering, what does God have planned for me as I walk into this new spring? How will new life appear in my life? What beauty will God bring out of the brokeness in my life?

We serve a God who has the power to restore what was lost. Our God uses every season we walk through for his good purposes. Even the seasons of hurt and pain have a reason in God’s plan. God allows us to go through hard winters so that when we finally get to spring there will be much to celebrate. When I finally get to my spring, I know there will once again be much joy in my life. Even more joy than there was before.

This is why Spring makes my heart so happy. As I walk into spring, I am anxious to see what beautiful things God will do for me and reveal to me. I know that in due time my brokeness will be made beautiful! My life will be restored and filled again with joy. God will get glory for all the great things he was doing during my rough winter.

So today I am thankful. I am thankful for Spring.