2018 grew my faith. Through the highs and lows of the year, I have come to realize that God’s plans do not always pan out the way I picture, but his plans are always for me.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
Traveling to the green pasture God has for us is sometimes a painful process. We must learn to smell the roses and notice the beauty of God’s blessings along life’s way. So much of life is spent on the road; following our Shepherd, trusting that he is taking us to a safe place, even in the midst of peril.
2018 was a year of spiritual growth, joy, and adventure. But in the mix of love and bliss, there were some extremely challenging trials along the way. Every time I began to think, “Praise the Lord. Finally I have made it to my green pasture!” Jesus would tap me on the shoulder, and say, “Come along daughter, we must press on.” Does he demand I follow? -No. But, what good is a green pasture without the presence of a shepherd? ...
I didn’t feel like writing. The publishing company that was soon to produce my book had filed bankruptcy, and was not going to be able publish my book after all. My writing appetite had been spoiled, and I was left with the after-taste of rejection and sorrow.
God’s blessings should not be taken for granted. Despite my feelings of hurt, loss, and rejection; I knew that God was going to use this as a part of my story, for his glory. Although it felt like alcohol disinfecting a knife wound, I chose to accept that God was up to something good. Climax elevation, or valley low; in any and all circumstances, God’s purpose is present. I hung onto the truth of Romans 8:28.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Still, a cloud of doubt welled up in my soul. It was the voice of the enemy. I prayed that God would remove the fog, and remind me of his plans for me.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:7-11 (ESV)
My dog longs for me to play with her, as she greets me at the door with her “ducky,” a dilapidated squeaky toy that once resembled a duck. My friends and I savor our mutually encouraging conversation, more than the pumpkin spice lattes. Each person in my life needs my love, in a different way.
The problem is…
I flop on the couch, while my dog stands nearby, duck in mouth, not-so covertly begging to play. I spend time on Facebook, liking several of m...
I was watching a movie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The movie took place during World War Two, and shortly thereafter. An author from London travels abroad to an isolated European island that is composed of farms, a few restaurants, and one post office. Her mission is to meet her pen pal, and hear his story.
There came a point in the movie, when a beautiful little girl was sitting on who she knew as her father's lap. The man was not her actual father, but knew her mother very well. Her mother had been taken away by German officers after being caught feeding a starving Jewish boy.
The love between the "father" and little girl was evident. While chickens meandered about, and clouds above consumed the gray sky, the little girl sitting on who she knew as her Papa’s lap was a moment of blended emotions- sadness, love, and joy.
Being the emotional creature that I am, tears began to breach the dam, and cascade down my cheeks. It was in that moment of love and sad...
God is good, no matter the hardships we go through in life.
When work is stressful, and social matters are askew; we can have faith that God is going to see us through. Because we belong to Jesus, Christ surrounds our hearts, and fills our lives with His Great Love. Will God always shield us from the harsh elements of life that come our way? No, but He will redeem; He will restore.
When seasons in life are filled with dark shadows, hold-on to Jesus' hand, and know that you are not alone. Ultimately, God is good. This is our source of hope. His plans are to prosper, and to protect our souls. This is our irrevocable joy.
God has purposeful plans for my future. The dawn is yet to come.
Even if I never see the morning light on this side of heaven, or understand reasons as to Why?; I will hold steadfast to my faith in Christ, because even when life is not, God is still good.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a f...
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NLT)
Nature never ceases to amaze me.
The way the seasons come and go.
The bird feeder in my backyard being filled, only to be found empty again the next day.