Sunday, June 10, 2018

When Everything Is Not Awesome


{I wrote these words a week ago and decided to share them with you. I want to encourage anyone - who can’t see past the darkness - that you are not alone & that is okay to not be okay. I’m with you and I hear you.}

My pastor said something this morning (6/3) that I wanted to share... 

“A soul that is held by grace trusting in the LORD, that is faith. Not 'everything is awesome.'” 

I see tons of posts on here (Instagram) that talk about being vulnerable/authentic, and how life is hard. However, I get inauthenticity from those posts because they tend to end with “everything is awesome” or "I'm okay now."

And I don’t believe that’s always true. 

Sure, everything can end up being awesome but what if it isn’t? What if you are continuing to wrestle with God about the hard things, and with the ugly parts of our lives that we hide from the world? What if everything is not awesome? Why don’t we share those things with the world? 

There is one Psalm that I love because it doesn’t end on a high note. It ends, after the psalmist has lamented rather sorrowfully, with “darkness is my closest friend.” 

I love that because it shows me that, sometimes, it’s okay to still be in the dark. It’s okay to still wrestle and ask questions about what is happening in the world and in our lives. 

For me, it resonates deeply because I’ve spent the majority of the last 8 weeks wrestling with seeing God's goodness in my life. I’ll admit, I don’t see it right now. But neither did the author of Psalm 88. I know it’s there but I can’t see it yet. 

I’m still there a week later. I’m still confused, upset, and frustrated with everything that has happened with my life-altering diagnosis several weeks ago. 

I hate the disease that has entered my body and turned my body against me. I hate everything I have to do to make sure I don’t die. 

Despite all of that, I still read my copy of the Word everyday. I still sing the worship songs. I still attend church & small group every week. 

But I still wrestle with it. And THATS OKAY. 

I think we dismiss people if they have question or doubts. When, in reality, we need to wrestle with them. We need to walk alongside of them as they work to figure it all out. 

God is holding those people in grace so why can't we? 

So, that's where I am at in life right now. I'll see God's goodness through this disease eventually. 

Thanks for bearing with me and waiting patiently. 

More to come in the next couple of days. :) 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Am I Back?

I've re-written this opening post several times in the past month.

I wanted to post something but didn't really have anything new to share with y'all.

What I want to say is that I miss blogging. I want to come back and write and document my life through the written word but the words haven't come to me.

I started blogging when I was 14 and, in 4 months, I'll be 24. Almost 10 years of blogging, of documenting my life has flown by. (Except for the past 3-4 years when I was silent.)

I recently went back to my first blog and laughed/cringed at some of the posts I wrote. It's pretty cool to see how much I've grown in life, not just my writing.

2018 will be a big year for me.

I'll finally graduate college with a Bachelor's degree. (all the praise hands)

I'll probably move across the country this summer for an internship or job, and then find my way back to The South shortly after that.

I am currently not in a relationship nor do I have kids or any sort of debt so I want to maximize this time as much as possible. It's a season of life I do not want to waste.

I really am excited for this year and all that it will bring.

I listened to this sermon by Rich Wilkerson, Jr. and have deemed "Miracle in Motion" as my phrase for this year. (Last year's was "Daring Greatly" which I plan to share here soon about what I learned.)

I truly believe that we have miracles in motion happening around us all the time, we just have to pay attention to them.

I don't have anything else to add for now so, if you're new here, welcome. If you're a returning reader, thanks for being an OG.

Hopefully, I won't wait another 4 years before I come back.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

In This Moment: The Mount of Beatitudes

"Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 

 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account."

Matthew 5:1-11

I distinctly remember where I was when I read that above passage.

I was kneeling down in the church on the top of the Mount of Beatitudes. 

As I was reading it, the Holy Spirit kept directing me back to the verse, "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted."

It's not unlike the Holy Spirit to prompt me to pray for someone or to highlight a particular passage of Scripture. I was not surprised by that but by the particular verse chosen. 

I had received a message from my Mom earlier that day as we were headed to this location. She had asked if there was anybody on the trip who had an international phone plan. I responded that I would find out but that it would be later in the day before I would be able to call her. 

I knew something had happened back home if she needed to call me while I was overseas. 

I did not know anything other than that her, Dad, and my brother were all okay. 

So, when I arrived at the Mount of Beatitudes, I took some time to reflect and to pray for whatever had occurred back home.  

I'm no fortune-teller but the Holy Spirit always intercedes for you when you have no words to say or before you even know what to pray. 

That was the case for me. 

I really didn't know what to pray but simply followed the Holy Spirit's leading. 

I prayed for my extended family particularly my Grandparents, and I prayed for peace and comfort despite the news I would receive when I called home.

After praying in the church, I walked around the surrounding gardens feeling at peace.

The group left shortly after that and we went on with the rest of our day.

When we arrived back at our hotel several hours later, I made the phone call.

My Dad answered the phone and delivered the news that my Grandfather, my Mom's Dad, had passed away.

And that is when I knew why the Holy Spirit had highlighted that particular verse and had prompted me to pray for peace.

While I did cry later, the peace I felt when my Dad told me the news was only made possible by the Holy Spirit. He knew before I knew and that gave me great comfort knowing I had been prayed for by the Holy Spirit all day.

I'm so incredibly thankful that the LORD knew where I would be when my Grandfather went to meet Him.

Yes, it was painful not being able to fly home to be with my family and to bid my Grandfather a final farewell.

But y'all, what better place to mourn the death of my Grandfather than where Jesus of Nazareth had said, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted," nearly 2,000 years ago?

It's been a month since that day and I still remember it ever so clearly.

Loss is always, always, always hard. It is never painless.

But Jesus always promises to walk with us through our grief.

I'm so thankful I was not only able to walk with Him spiritually, but to see where He walked physically on earth where He had said those words.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." – Matthew 5:4

They now have a whole new meaning to me.