Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Wonderful Church. A Glorious Gospel.

My church. They love Scripture. They treasure Christ. They serve our members and our community. The actively seek out the lost. They proclaim the Gospel. 

And they do all of these things well.  

I am challenged every week to love Jesus  more fiercely and to love my neighbors more than myself. 

Our pastor is teaching through Isaiah. This is the first sermon on Isaiah 53. Listen to the glorious message of Scripture-the good news of Christ's life, death and resurrection from the dead.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nothing like a return to the blog world. I comfort myself in saying that everyone forgets to blog.


Seriously the scariest word in the history of the world. It encompasses all of my fear and anxiety. Every action and decision I make centers around this thought and idea. I am so afraid of brokenness.

It is weakness. Unmet expectations. Dashed hopes. Crushed dreams. Fear of failure. Lack of control.

It is . . . me.

I am broken to the core of my being. This year has been so hard. At its apex, I lost a baby. And be sure, a miscarriage will break you like nothing else you have ever experienced. And all of the feelings and disappointments and sadness - they are so real. They are devastating. And this death broke me.

But even more than the grief, I have made a dramatic discovery. I was broken before the miscarriage. Before we moved. Before all of it. My brokenness extends to the furthest reach of my being. My heart and soul are broken.

And thats where I have been sitting. Just broken. And really not sure how this fits into my life as a wife and mother. And even more so, how it fits into my relationship with my Savior.

See, I know that Christ is the Healer. I know that He is the Rescuer, the One who sees me. He is my Redeemer, my Strength and my Song. I know that because of Christ perfect life, atoning death, and miraculous resurrection that I am right with the Father. I have been given Christ's righteousness as my own through faith and trust in this Good News.

Then why. . .why do I feel this way? Why do I struggle to deal with the everyday? Why am I struggling to daily put sin to death? Why am I always "forgetting" the Lord's faithfulness?

Because I am broken.

I have been broken with sin since the beginning. And this fact is why I desperately desire a return to Eden. A return to a perfect relationship with the Creator of the Universe. But this will only come when Christ returns for His Bride and He makes all things right again. So what do I do in the meantime?!?

Cease striving to earn favor with God by doing good things. My salvation was never based on my own merit. It was always based on the grace of God. Why do I often act as though God's grace is not sufficient to sustain my salvation throughout my life? His grace is the only thing carrying my perseverance. He is keeping me. He is holding me.

Wallow in God's Word. I need to spend as much time as I can drinking in the life-giving truths in Scripture. This is my only source of truth. My feelings and wishy-washy emotions are a terrible thing to trust. But, I can put my hope and trust into the very words of my Father. In fact, they were given so that I could know Him and put my hope in Him.

Be honest with myself. I can not live in isolation. I must have a community of faithful women of God who are speaking truth into my life on a VERY regular basis.

Stop fearing man. It is ok to not be "GREAT!" all the time. I need to be honest with people. Especially when struggling through huge life events, like a miscarriage, or putting your grandmother in an assisted living facility or struggling with family relationships. They are often struggling as well or have experienced some of these things in the past. They know the hurt and despair. They are hopefully in-tune with the Holy Spirit and will be able to minister to me in the specific way that I need at that time.

And lastly, choose joy. I MUST wake up every morning and choose joy. Even with going through an extremely difficult season, the Gospel is more than enough reason to be joyful. I have been rescued from darkness and adopted by the Father. That necessitates joy!

So broken. . .absolutely. But carried by my Savior.

And full of joy in response to the beauty of the Gospel!
A post hidden away. It is still full of truth. I am amazed at the Lord's faithfulness over the past year.


I grew up as a pastor's daughter. Life in ministry is not easy. Often there is hurt and unfulfilled expectation and frustration. Isolation and loneliness are fast companions. There are things you just learn accept as part of the calling the Lord has placed on your family. Moving is definitely something you just accept. The actual process of moving becomes easier - truck packing, organization, etc. - but emotionally. . . . . . . . .  See, I have forgotten the pain of moving.

I made the last move with my family in 2000. That summer was a game changer for our family. My brother graduated from high school and moved away to college. We moved to a church known for conflict and dissention. My cousin tragically lost his battle with cancer leaving 4 young children and a wife. I moved to public school (craziness). It was a hard move, but my Heavenly Father displayed is character in ways that I had never experienced. My faith was tested for the first time. My relationship with Christ truly became my own that summer.

Fastforward to 2013. I am on the verge of another big move. This time, I am not headed for hard things, but leaving hard things. My dad has been struggling with health issues. My husbands academic and professional careers have imploded through unmet expectations and unforseen problems and difficulty. A place and people of refuge have become estranged. I have had to work despite my overwhelming desire and call to stay at home with my sweet baby girl. My struggles with anxiety and depression have occasionally bubbled up to the surface due to the stress.

This move is different for my heart. Backwards even. I am leaving hardship, not facing it head on.

Honestly, I want to leave tomorrow. It just seems easier. I won't have to worry about goodbyes. I won't have to worry about dealing with . . . my heart. There are so many wonderful things about our current life. We LOVE LOVE LOVE our church family. We own and love our home. We are close to family. But anger and bitterness are deeply rooted in my heart.

There is old and new baggage that needs to be handled.

First, while looking at this move square in the face, I have realized that I am tired of moving. Of leaving and "moving on". I am ready to live in a forever town with a forever house. I want to set down roots for me and my family. I want to know everyone in my community. I want to stay in a church and build a LONG TERM ministry (longer than 5-10 years). I am tired.

Second, I am so disappointed in people and their lack of integrity. In the recent months, too many believers are finding their strength and power in sin. And lets be honest - their sin is intensly impacting my personal life. And it stinks.

But in looking at all of this yuckiness, here is what I know for sure:

The Lord is faithful to redeem. He will redeem these circumstances. He will receive the glory He is due.

He is interested in changing my heart and the hearts of everyone involved in all of these situations.

His grace is far-reaching. Even to reach the depths of my hardened heart.

He desires repentance and trust. This basic understanding of the Gospel is still applicable to me and you and everyone else. Turn from your sin and trust Christ. I must continually turn from my sin and trust Christ.

The God that I experience in my current city is the same God who will meet me across the country. He is the never-changing, always faithful Creator God of the universe. Because of this, He can be trusted.

So as I have been dealing with my heart, I found Psalm 3 so comforting this weekend. I rise and I lie down and the Lord Sustains me. Sweet truth.