Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Thankful. I am so thankful! and so blessed.. and I really don't deserve it one bit. As I look back on some really hard things that I went through in 2011...difficult things..sad things...life shaking things... I look at today and I smile. Who am I, Oh Lord, that you have brought me this far? When I was in the middle of the storm, I couldn't see the end, couldn't see the light. But now...I see His hand in it all. He is good and is working all things for good. He does things to make us more like Himself. I heard Elisabeth Elliot say this quote by Ugo Bassi the other day and thought yes...that's it!
Remember that it is His will that you should be sanctified, and that
the work of making you holy is His, not yours."
Salt and Light
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I don't have much time, but here is a video that I have watched probably about a million times. ;) It is so good. It always reminds me that I am to be radically abandoned to my Savior, constantly forsaking all that I have and all that is good in the world's eyes to follow Him. He gave everything for me, and so I should be willing to give everything for Him. Oh how I love my sweet Savior!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
A friend and I were e-mailing back and forth a while back and I wanted to share what has been on my heart. Here is a little part of what God has been doing in my heart and mind over the past weeks:
It seems that God is constantly humbling me. I am so thankful for that though, because as the sinner that I am my tendency so often tends to be prideful and comfortable in my little life I'm living. Once again God opens my eyes to see that its not about me, it's not about me at all ~ It's about Him and His glory. I was just thinking yesterday, that if I could really really grasp that ~ that this life is about His glory, and that all it is is a training ground!! A place where I find that I am absolutely nothing without Him. A place where I can experience heartache and failure and where I can see how I fall so so so short. A place where He teaches me to know Him and be His. How differently my life would be if I could completely wrap my mind and heart around that!
...and to add to that, if this life is just a training ground, a place where God is showing me Who He is, and my chief end and eternal purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever...then why don't I live like that? Why am I not constantly on my face before Him in awe? Why don't I talk about Him every. single. chance. I get? Why do I not have more patience, more love, more forgiveness, more joy? "What do I know of this Calvary Love?" Sweet GRACE, friend! How thankful I am for that! We have far to go, precious friends. far to go. Our Savior always finishes what He starts, and that is a promise.
"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 1:6
"...will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." We are constantly being perfected, perfected, perfected...until the day of Christ Jesus, until the day He brings us home. He is working in you today if you are His! He is working in me today! What an encouraging thought! We weren't the same as we were yesterday! I remember my pastor saying this quote a lot:
"I'm not what I ought to be, but praise God I'm not where I used to be!"
He is working friends, but until that day we strive to be made whole. It is my prayer that He will pull me near and He will open my eyes more and more and more to behold His beauty. These quotes from Amy Carmichael have had a huge impact in my life. They are so convicting, but that is exactly what I need. That is exactly what I want, because anything that convicts me only serves to draw me nearer. I hope the Lord will use these in your life like He has mine.
If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points; if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting “Who made thee to differ? And what hast thou that thou hast not received?” then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I find myself taking lapses for granted, “Oh, that’s what they always do,” “Oh, of course she talks like that, he acts like that,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind word, think an unkind thought without grief and shame, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I do not feel far more for the grieved Savior than for my worried self when troublesome things occur, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I can rebuke without a pang, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me; if I say, “Just what I expected” if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, “You do not understand,” or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other’s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying “Peace, peace,” where there is no peace; if I forget the poignant word “Let love be without dissimulation” and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I hold on to choices of any kind, just because they are my choice, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I am soft to myself and slide comfortably into self-pity and self-sympathy; If I do not by the grace of God practice fortitude, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve round myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have “a heart at leisure from itself,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If, the moment I am conscious of the shadow of self crossing my threshold, I do not shut the door, and keep that door shut, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I take offense easily, if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I feel injured when another lays to my charge things that I know not, forgetting that my sinless Savior trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I feel bitter toward those who condemn me, as it seems to me, unjustly, forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it, because the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If the praise of others elates me and their blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I crave hungrily to be used to show the way of liberty to a soul in bondage, instead of caring only that it be delivered; if I nurse my disappointment when I fail, instead of asking that to another the word of release may be given, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I do not forget about such a trifle as personal success, so that it never crosses my mind, or if it does, is never given room there; if the cup of flattery tastes sweet to me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If in the fellowship of service I seek to attach a friend to myself, so that others are caused to feel unwanted; if my friendships do not draw others deeper in, but are ungenerous (to myself, for myself), then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I refuse to allow one who is dear to me to suffer for the sake of Christ, if I do not see such suffering as the greatest honor that can be offered to any follower of the Crucified, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I slip into the place that can be filled by Christ alone, making myself the first necessity to a soul instead of leading it to fasten upon Him, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If my interest in the work of others is cool; if I think in terms of my own special work; if the burdens of others are not my burdens too, and their joys mine, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I wonder why something trying is allowed, and press for prayer that it may be removed; if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, and cannot go on in peace under any mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love
If the ultimate, the hardest, cannot be asked of me; if my fellows hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
That which I know not, teach Thou me, O Lord, my God.
~From the book ‘If’ by Amy Carmichael
Teach me Lord, because I fall so short. What do I know of Calvary love? I know You, sweet Savior, and I cling to your promise that You will finish what You began. Oh how I need You!
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
When Jesus cried out, "My God my God, why have You forsaken me," the Father poured out all sin and all His wrath on His perfect Son. In that moment, Jesus bore all our sin and death. What kind of love is this? That He would lay down His life for us? It is a love that conquers all other. I am reminded of the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia, when the people killed Aslan. They didn't realize what they were doing. They didn't realize that in three days, He would break the chains and rise again.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
1 year. 1 year full of baby smiles, baby kisses, baby blessings! These two little lives have blessed my life with joy! They are my first cousins, but they feel way closer than that! ;) God sure did give our family two precious gifts when He brought them into our lives. They were born only a day apart: Callie was born on March 31, 2011 and Will was born on April 1, 2011. These two have my heart! I am praying that they will grow up to be a mighty man and a virtuous woman who fear the Lord and who follow Him with all they have! Men and women who are after His heart.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." ~James 1:17
Dear Will and Callie,
How precious you both are to Lyssa! Thank you for making me smile and laugh when I need to most. Thank you for touching my heart. Thank you for the times when you unexpectedly give me kisses, just because. Thank you for falling asleep in my arms ~ that melts my heart. Thank you for letting me take a bazillion pictures of you. Thank you for doing things with me that probably seem silly to you, like letting me paint your feet and make footprint pictures on paper. Thank you for reaching for me and wanting me to hold you. Thank you for quieting down when I sing "Jesus Loves Me" to you. Thank you for bobbing your head when a song comes on you like, that makes me smile. Thank you for making silly faces at me. :) Thank you for letting me teach you things like how to blow bubbles. You make days fun! You both are precious and beautiful and I thank God for giving you both to us! I love you both so much!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sometimes.... my heart is so full that I want to throw my head back and let out one great, big, laugh. And not a half way laugh. A real laugh that makes your cheeks hurt and your eyes water.
And sometimes..... my days are so happy that I skip everywhere I go and smile at everyone I see.
But sometimes.... my heart isn't so full and my days just aren't so happy. And you know what I've learned? That's okay.
What if we were never unhappy here in this land we sojourn? What if we were always happy people, living our happy lives in a big, happy world? Would we long for Heaven? Would we long for the day when our sweet Abba Father will wipe every tear from our eyes? Would we still pray, "come quickly, Lord?" Would the thought of leaving this earth and being with our Lord forever still make our hearts swell with excitement? ...Would we cling to Jesus with all we have?
All the time... I'm thankful that this is not my home.
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." 1 Peter 5:10
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
" Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." Romans 8:23
No turning back,
Monday, March 26, 2012
A. I will call to mind the stupendous truth that Jesus is ALIVE. (Luke 24:5–6)http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/a-i-m-s-a-new-acronym-for-living-my-life
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”I. I will remember the breathtaking reality that Jesus is IN me. (Romans 8:10).
“Christ is in you.”M. I will ponder the all-comforting fact that Jesus is MIGHTY. (Matthew 28:18).
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”S. And I will savor the sweetness that Jesus is SATISFYING. (John 6:35)
"Whoever believes in me shall never thirst."
Jesus is worth our all,
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Hey friends! I've been listening to/reading a lot of John Piper this week. I have learned so much from him! He paints a good picture of Biblical womanhood in this video.
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." ~Proverbs 31:25
Let's be fearless, friend, because we know Who holds us. He's the One who calms the raging sea, who named all the stars and sustains them, who molds our hearts, who breaths life into dry bones, who knows when every sparrow falls, who sings over His children; the One who is working all things together for the good. That's the One we can entrust our entire lives to and become so fearless that we laugh at whatever stuggles may come. That's the woman I want to be ~ a woman completely surrendered and resting in her sweet Father's hands.
Hoping in Him,
Thursday, March 22, 2012
A few Sundays ago in Sunday school we found our place in Genesis and read about God telling Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Brother Mike used that to remind us to be willing to give our all for Him, to be willing to sacrifice that which is most precious to us for Him, and not to drive our "tent pegs" too deep in this world. When we release something to God, He replaces it with something even better. The reward is far greater than the sacrifice.
"And without faith it is impossible to please Him. He who comes to God must believe that He is, and He is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek Him." ~ Hebrews 11:6
And I believe all those things with my whole heart! In my early teen years when I was still in public school, I began to feel God press on my heart that I needed to come out of the public school system. This meant great sacrifice. It meant giving up all I had ever known school to be: friends, cheerleading, tennis, beta club, awards, homecoming, dances, even graduation this year! It meant letting go of so many things that I thought I couldn't live without. With much uncertainty, I decided along with my parents that I would finish my highschool education at home. Once I finally surrendered all His hands, He replaced all that was surrendered with things worth far more than any of the surrendered things ever could. Eternal things. He filled my heart with joy and taught me to fly. He rewarded me with Himself! And words cannot even describe how awesome and faithful God was during that time of testing, how He provided much better things than the things that were surrendered. I grew so much closer to my sweet Savior and so much more of my life was focused on Him. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world! What a precious season of my life that was!! The things of this earth grow strangely dim in the light of His great glory and grace. God said to Abraham in Genesis 15:
Genesis 15:1 NKJV
"After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."
HE is our reward!! I love that! It is soo true! "In His presence is the fullness of joy!" Psalm 16:11
Remember, friend, when you take a leap of faith, God will do one of two things: He will catch you, or He will teach you to fly. And it's awful hard to fly if you are holding suitcases. ;-) Let them go.
"Behold, this is our God for Whom we have waited..." Is 25:9
Love in Him,
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.
I have been memorizing Psalm 34 this past week. What a sweet scripture to a hungry soul it is! I've read this chapter many times in the past, but I've never really meditated and thought on it.
Often, my prayer to my Savior is that I would shine with His glory; that when people look at me, they would be able to see Him and His light. After reading Psalm 34 a few times and really thinking on it, I finally made the connection between my prayer that I pray so often and what the Bible says in verse 5. It says that they were radiant...when they looked to Him. When their gaze was fixed on Christ Jesus and His Word, His beauty; when their minds were turned from all the distractions of this world and were steadfast upon Him, then they were radiant.
They were radiant, filled with peace, and they trusted God.
"You will keep in perfect peace him [or her] whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in You."
That's what I want. I want my mind to be so fixed and so steadfast on my Jesus that it makes my face glow, makes my mind full of peace and trust, and makes my heart overflow with exceeding joy.
I looked up the Hebrew word behind the word radiant, and found out what it meant. (I love doing that ~ it let's you go soo much deeper in the Word and find out in full what the verse says and means.) I found out that radiant also means sparkle. To sparkle!!!! :-) Wouldn't it be beautiful if our faces constantly sparkled and glowed with Heavenly radiance?! If we want to have that set apart sparkle, our lives have to be lived out in His presence. We have to move out all those distractions and meditate on His word. We have to talk to Him and get to know Him and spend time with Him. We have to have a pure heart, because those with pure hearts see God. He shines on them.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
~ Matthew 5:8
So let's work on our heavenly sparkle this week. Let's spend time with Him who can truly satisfy everything our hearts desire and long for. Let's let His glory shine on us and make us radiant so others can be drawn to Him. He is more beautiful and more soul satisfying than anything we can imagine!!
Oh praise Him!!!
Thursday, March 1, 2012
It's March 1st! February is gone. Wow, how time flies! Our internet has been down this past week so I haven't been able to post lately. I'm sending this quick post from my phone.
My week has felt like a whirlwind so far but at the same time it has been good. It has been filled with lots of children and smiles! I am learning that it is so important to just stop and cherish the little moments: baby cousins taking their first steps; blowing bubbles, going on "a hike" and having a picnik with a little cousin who is not quite so little anymore; listening to my parents sing and play hymns and songs that are so dear to my heart; tears filling eyes while listening to the prayer of a little boy whose prayer sounds more like its coming from the mouth of a mighty man of God than a 5 year old; a roomfull of kids reciting verse after verse of scripture from memory; being a little girl again and building a fort on a rainy day with 2 sweet kiddoes who I have missed dearly; capturing memories on camera with those same kiddoes; quiet moments with my Savior; thinking and smiling about the future with soon to be roommate if the Lord wills; watching a whole field bloom with purple wildflowers; sweet hugs from new friends; moments of learning from people of God much wiser than me; laughter; a heart that smiles again; and last but certainly not least ~ overflowing thankfulness to my Abba Father after reflecting on sooo many blessings and moments of joy....God is faithful. Always.
"In moments like these,
I sing out a song,
I sing out a love song to Jesus
In moments like these,
I lift up my hands,
I lift up my hands to the Lord
Singing I love You Lord
Singing I love You Lord
Singing I love You Lord
I love You"
~Moments Like These
Love in Him,
Monday, February 20, 2012
I heard this song on the radio for the first time a week or two ago and had to share it with you! It made me stop and go, "Woah God! You've been walking with me all this time...from the first tear cried til today's sunrise and every single moment between." It reminded me just how far He has carried me. I don't want to think about where I would be without Him. He was with me at my lowest. I'm so so so thankful for His faithfulness. His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out.
Sorry to be short, but I have to get started on school work. I'm studying for a math CLEP test and I'm oh so close to being able to go take it! Thank You Jesus!! :-)
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all."
Resting in Him,
P.S. What song is on repeat for you this week?
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
|Me and my cousin Callie ~ She is one of my sweet Valentines!! I was saying "Awwww!!" in this picture :-)|
Happy Valentines Day everyone! I pray your day is filled with reminders of how much you are loved. My family began this Valentines Day by praying for many of our friends who need comfort and healing. There are many friends of ours who are having health struggles right now. My heart is heavy for them. I came across this video last night and it really touched my heart.
Kari Jobe singing "Healer" to a little girl who desperately needs healing.
This reminded me that our sweet Jesus is the ulitmate Healer. He is not only the One who can heal our bodies, but also the One who can heal our hearts. There are also many who I am praying for who need healing in their hearts. I am one of those people. Oh, how I have experienced Jesus as my Healer over these last few months!
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
Nothing is too big for Him. Nothing. That means No. Thing.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
He is so faithful ~ Even when we are faithless. His love for us never ends!! In Psalm 139 the Bible says that His thoughts toward us are more than the grains of sand. I can't even wrap my mind around that! I was talking to my kiddos in children's church about this last Wednesday. I love hearing their responses to God's Word! I reminded them of the verse where Jesus says that He knows how many hairs are on our heads and then asked how many they thought were there.
"Fourty thousand!!!" "A million!!" "A BAZILLION!!!"
Too many to count. Have you ever stopped and really thought about that? Working with kids has made me have to think about things more simply, which has been a blessing in disguise.
David cried out in his prayer:
“Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord GOD! And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord GOD! Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. Therefore you are great, O LORD God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears."
~2 Samuel 7:18-22
"You know Your servant....Who am I that You have brought me this far??" He knows me... but who am I that the King of Kings would want to know me?? He certainly doesn't need me, but He wants me. What a thought...
"Who am I that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the bright and morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart
Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are!
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am...
I am YOURS"
Oh Praise Him!!!
Thursday, February 2, 2012
And there's no one else around
While I'm lying here in bed You're in my heart, You're in my head
You're all I need
There are a million voices calling out my name
But You're the one I want to hear, so make the others disappear
You're all I need, You're all I need
You are all I need when I'm surrounded
You are all I need when I'm by myself
You fill me when I'm empty
There is nothing else
You're all I need
When the morning comes
And Your mercy is renewed
There's a fire in my bones
I'm not afraid to go alone
You're all I need, You're all I need
The sun on my face
I hear You whisper loud
You're still the God that opens seas
Every flower, even me
You're all I need, You're all I need!
You are all I need when I'm surrounded
You are all I need when I'm by myself
You fill me when I'm empty
There is nothing else
You're all I need
I'm drawn to everything that You do
Nothing compares with You
~All I Need by Bethany Dillon
Lord, help me to remember that You are all I need ~ and You are more than enough for me! Nothing can satisfy me like You do.
Monday, January 30, 2012
|Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com/|
This past Sunday in Sunday school, we got to talking about how everything worth doing takes time. Almost all of us in the class play an instrument, so Brother Mike asked us if we learned how to play them overnight. All of us replied with a firm "No!" This got me thinking about the time when I was learning to play the guitar. When I first began, I had to learn the chord shapes, and my fingers had to move in a way they were not used to moving. After learning some chord shapes, I started practicing them a LOT. The steel strings would cut into my tender fingers. The pain would sometimes be almost unbearable! I did not know I was signing up for all this pain when I wanted to learn how to play the guitar! Day after day, I would continue to do the very thing that caused my untrained fingers so much pain. Why did I continue? Because I knew what the outcome would be. I knew it would be beautiful. So I endured.
I thought on that for a while and suddenly had an "Aha!" moment. Jesus began to press on my heart that this is exactly what He has been doing in my life.
"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." ~Romans 5:3-5
See, just because I am a Christian and my Father is the Almighty King of Kings does not mean that my life will be all rainbows and butterflies. There are going to be hard times so that endurance, character, and hope will be produced in my life. Elizabeth Elliot was asked this question one time: "But doesn't God want me to be happy??" She replied with, "No, He wants you to be most holy."
It isn't about what I want. It isn't about me at all. It is about making much of Him. This is where my greatest joy is found, in making much of my Savior. "In Your presence is the fullness of JOY." ~Psalm 16:11
I slowly endured the pain of learning to play the guitar and as time passed, the sounds that came out of my guitar were not just broken notes anymore. The sounds that came out made a beautiful, joyful song! It was a song that couldn't have been there without enduring the pain.
Lord, I want my life song to be beautiful to you. Mold me, make me, and stretch me until my life is a sweet, sweet sound to Your ear.
So why do we continue? Because we know that God has planned the outcome. We know that it will be most beautiful to Him. So we endure, joyfully! :)
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Thursday, January 26, 2012
|Image credit: Google|
"Troubles chasing me again
Breaking down my best defense
God I´m looking for You
Weary just won´t let me rest
And fear is filling up my head
God I´m longing for You
But I will
Find You in the place I´m in
Find You when I´m at my end
Find You when there's
Nothing left of me to offer You
Except for brokenness
You lift me up
You never leave me thirsty
When I am weak
When I am lost and searching
I find You on my knees
So what if sorrow shakes my faith
What if heartache still remains
I'll trust You
My God I´ll trust You
Because You are FAITHFUL"
I will find You on my knees. This song has been playing in my heart over and over since Kari Jobe's new CD came out. (It is great by the way, you should check it out! :)
I've learned through difficult trials that these words are SO true. It's when I come to the end of myself that I am closest to Him. It's at that point when I have nothing else to offer except my brokenness that I can almost feel His arms around me. It's when I discover just how weak and frail I am that I can see best how strong and mighty and glorious He is. It's in the darkness that I can best see the light. The valley is the place of vision.
He is GOOD, even when things don't seem so good. He is the One who is working, even in the darkest places, because "even the darkness is not dark" to Him(Psalm 139:12).
I have experienced those things in the past season of my life, and I am so thankful! He has been working in my stubborn heart, bringing me closer to Him, turning my eyes towards Him, tuning my heart to sing His grace.
I've heard it said before that everyone is either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or going into a storm. I believe that. But I also know that Jesus walks with me through the storm. Most of the time He is carrying me. I'm not on this journey alone. I can't make it to my destination in my own strength! He is a good Father, who teaches His children what they need to learn and "will use no painful remedy that can be avoided." This earth is nothing but a training ground for those who belong to Him.
"[We live in] a fallen world, which must not be a real heaven lest we should love the land we journey though so well as to want to pitch our tents in it forever and cease to look and long for the home whither we are bound." ~ Elisabeth Prentiss
"Count it all joy when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." ~James 1:2-4
So as Elisabeth Prentiss put it in her journal years ago, we are on a journey of "stepping heavenward," and this journey is uphill. But it a journey filled with the joy of knowing Him! He is all I need. He brings beauty from the worst situations. The same God who walks me through the valley is the same God who stands with me on the mountain! The same God who paints the sunsets and rainbows! Thank You Lord! You are a good Father and I trust You.