God is Perfect – The Best is Yet to Come

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. It’s now 2019. My sister almost overdosed on Christmas and I was in the ER for the majority of the day. They wouldn’t let me see her in her room because I traveled with my guitar, but I had laid on the hard benches and occasionally played some worship songs. My usual self would want to pray for people and offer them the joy of Christ, but today I didn’t want to be in the ER, afraid that another sister was going to pass away. I just wanted my whole family to be together on Christmas, playing games, and eating too many sugar cookies, cheese and crackers.

The following day I took my mom into surgery and my sister’s ex-fiancé, the father of her child, overdosed. They found him blue in the car with their two year old in the back seat. He was rushed to the hospital and they brought him back to life.

While I spent time with family, I found out more brokenness that was apart of my sister Crystal’s death. She died two Christmas’s ago. This darkness is too personal to share, but it’s real and it’s there underneath the pretend smiles, make-up, and new clothes. The painful secrets that you may never get to read here are still there and bleeding in someone’s heart.

My other sister isn’t even around anymore. She stopped talking to the family because she got a divorce and we didn’t approve. She also started dating my dead sister’s ex-boyfriend. I can’t be in the same room with them because it feels like they are spitting on her grave. Because of this I haven’t seen my two nieces in over a year. She won’t let us see them. They didn’t receive their Christmas presents this year and they still haven’t received last years Easter presents.

I could proceed with the disasters in my life, but we will stop there. I want to interrupt this unbelievable story called my life with these three words: “God is Perfect.”

Honestly, it sounds insane to say: “God is Perfect” when all this is happening. How could I possibly see God, be with Him, praise Him, lean on Him. How could I love Him when He let all this happen, right?

One week from Christmas this past year was New Years Eve. At 9 a.m. on New Years Eve my friend called me, hysterically crying. Her brother died. He was 20 years old. He had been fighting a drug addiction for over 7 years and in that time, my friend had been worshipping God and praying for her brother to be healed. He received Christ into his heart two years ago, but it didn’t cut it. He slipped up over a year of being clean and he overdosed.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! The best is yet to come. God is perfect. He is sovereign and He is making a way through all of this. How insane does that sound? It sounds insane to someone without Christ, but with Christ, it sounds perfectly sound. (2 Timothy 1:7)

New Years Eve I fell asleep at my mom’s house. My niece didn’t want me to leave. I’m a positive family member in her life, and I didn’t want her to feel unloved by me going to a friend’s house instead of staying with family. We fell asleep together and in the middle of the night I was having some beautiful night terrors, if that even makes sense.

The one dream I had revealed was of my sister who had stopped talking to us. Our family is broken because of this, yet God showed me how He is going to make it good. He showed me that He is going to use the bad for good. His plan is greater. If you read in scripture, you will see that more rejoicing is in Heaven when one lost sheep goes astray and comes back, then for all the righteous people who never went astray. (Luke 15:7)

As I woke up from this dream, I felt someone holding my hand. It was not my niece. Someone was holding my hand, and as soon as I moved it to look, they let go. My comfort and terror awoke my niece and she grabbed my chin, comforting me to let me know it’s all right. God was with me. God was with our family. He came in the night to give me a dream, and he held my hand to let me know he will never leave me, even in the darkest of night terrors.

As I carry my friend’s burdens that just lost her brother, I sit awhile with her and see that it’s no coincidence that God made her my friend.  I didn’t see it a year ago. To be honest, I sometimes questioned how and why we were friends. Some people just come into your life and you can’t figure out why or how, but they continue to stay. This friend continued to stay in my life. There hasn’t been a week that we started being friends that I haven’t talked to her.

As I sat and listened to her heart as she cried for her brother who died too young, it was almost like I was looking at myself two years ago when I lost my sister, Crystal, who died too young as well.

The similarities in these stories are that it wasn’t a car accident or cancer that took them from us. It was drugs. And it wasn’t drugs because they were horrible people. It wasn’t a sin they did out of hate towards God. It was an action that stemmed from a pain no one could seem to heal. No one could hug the pain away enough. No one could reach the deepest parts of their being to heal their soul.

Both of these deaths had a tremendous amount of pain, not because they died too young, but because the question remains, when they were alive, did they feel loved? Did they feel alone?

How hard I asked God to reveal himself in their lives. Why He didn’t fully heal them, I do not know. But somehow through it all, I can say God is perfect. He makes all things good. He made so much good happen out of my sister’s death, even though so much bad happened also. Because she died, God let me write a play to comfort the world that they matter and they are loved. They are Crystals, unique, and special. Maybe her death was used for more good than her life.

And in this broken, heart-wrenching story, that will forever make me cry on Christmas and New Years, God is perfect. He sent me a friend who understands and sees what I see. God is perfect.

God is perfect, in the midst of it all. My sister’s birthday is January 4th, tomorrow, and my friend’s brother’s viewing is January 4th, tomorrow. God is perfect. He can’t control our actions and what we choose to do with our brokenness and pain, but He shows up. He is here. He reminds us He is working in His perfect way.

God is perfect. He holds my hand in the night when I’m afraid what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a call that my other sister overdosed. I deeply pray it doesn’t happen again on Christmas or New Years. I don’t know if that day will come, but I do know God will still be perfect in that day. He will still hold my hand, and God willing, He will still send me a friend to comfort me and love me when everything seems to be going wrong.

God is perfect in this world. The best is yet to come. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

 

His Wonder Missed Through the Lens

The Lord gives me dreams and one of the dreams He gave me a while ago consisted of me sitting high up in a tree and looking out over God’s masterpiece. (Acts 2:17) My mind was blown. I knew I was dreaming, but it was so vivid and real. His creation looked so much more majestic in the dream than it ever had in real life.

I was staring out into the distant in marvel. I was pressing into God in quiet. I was encountering His presence and His wonder just sitting up high and looking out over His creation. Revelations were flooding and beauty forming inside me that I couldn’t describe. ‘Wow,’ I thought.

His treasures are endless. His beauty is wild. He creates the most beautiful sunsets and the most beautiful rivers. He shapes the mountains to overlay the earth, creating a spectacular painting that no man could dream of forming with their own mind alone.

‘Wow,’ I thought. This is the God I serve. And this God hasn’t just made the most beautiful of valleys, but He has given me this dream to sit high up and be with Him, overlooking it all. ‘Wow,’ I thought.

This moment was so beautiful with Jesus I just wanted to take a photo. I had to remember what this mountain looked like. The snow that covered it almost shined like crystals. It’s glow from the sun was so golden that I just wanted to reach out and touch it.

Before I reached for my phone to take a picture, I sensed the Lord speaking to me about the future. ‘Some day’, He whispered, ‘You will want to be with me again.’ ‘You will want to climb to the highest mountain away from the world, just to be with me again.’ ‘You will long to hear my voice, but you will miss it. Your calendar and world will become higher than my mountain. It will become higher and more important than being with me in my presence.’

I’m not sure how God can reveal all this knowledge in one moment. It takes more than a moment to read this prophecy, but He revealed it all in a look towards the mountain. In a moment, I understood what was coming. A separation from God was coming to this world that no man would be able to understand without knowing what it was like to be with him in the first place. (2 Thessalonians 1:9) A tragic love story was about to unfold, and it consist of Jesus loving us so much that he died to not just give us eternal life, but to be with us forever here on earth. (John 3:16) Yet, my sin and my worldly doubt of everlasting life and everlasting moments of glory made me reach for my phone to take a picture. (Romans 3:23) For this moment was too beautiful, how could the Lord possibly allow it to continue for eternity?

I reached for my phone and held it up in front of my face to capture His wonder. Just like that, my moment was gone. The revelations, the Lord’s voice, the beauty of His creation disappeared. My lens broke His lens. My lens stopped my time with him. It stopped my ears from hearing. The phone and camera became more valuable than him, yet I wasn’t fully aware of this. (Exodus 20:3)

And just like that, my niece climbs up the tree and I see her on the other side of the camera.  The Lord shows me how her and I will work together to share the gospel with the world someday. And today, a new word comes from God. She is watching me. She sees whom I look to. All children see whom I look to and they learn. They want to be like me and climb up to the top of the mountain. They want to see what I see. Did she know I really was just trying to capture the moment I had with God? Or does she see me looking to my camera, my phone for the answers? (James 1:5) (Proverbs 2:6)

Will she constantly be looking to God through a lens that distorts truth? (John 17:17)

Or will she learn to always look to God and seek Him for His true beauty, and not what a duplicated photograph may do to alter the reality that took place between me and God on that mountain? (Jeremiah 17:5-9)

My interpretation of this dream is that our world that is already losing the faith in God, and is already losing strong real relationships with one another because of technology, will look to their phones for the answers. We will look to our phones to create. We will look to our phones for wisdom and knowledge. We will look to our phones to capture and share. We will look to our phones for love and contentment. We will look to our phones for everything and our children will see, and the question we must ask ourselves is, will we step away from our phones long enough, to just sit on the mountain with our children and look out over the splendor of God’s creation together? Will we give them a chance to see what we see, and a chance to hear what we hear from the Lord?

Will we give them a chance to see God’s glory, instead of seeing the distortion of His beauty through our lens…where we fail and sometimes put our trust in? (John 14:6) (Psalm 20:7) (Proverbs 3:5) 

Knowing Him is Everlasting Peace

Giving my full life to Jesus for about the last 5 years now has completely changed my world. I have stepped into a place of revelation, peace, joy, and understanding like no other. Nevertheless, it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. Even though I know His name, I still dumbfoundly forget to fellowship with Him like He would want me to.

Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all 
occasions with all kinds of prayers and 
requests. With this in mind, be alert and 
always keep on praying for all the Lord's 
people.

He brought me back to this awareness as I was about to post to instagram. I love sharing what God is doing in my life. I know that that’s what I’m called to do. I’m called to teach others about Jesus and His love. However, when I was about to share what Jesus had showed me, on instagram, I stopped. It almost was like I was about to cut my date time with God abruptly short to share online.

Have you ever been out to lunch with someone and they immediately get on their phone and you feel so disconnected from them? You feel like they aren’t paying attention to you. That they care about sharing or talking on their device more then spending time with you?

It was almost like I was out to lunch with God, and once He told me something amazing and I had this amazing word with him, I shared it with the world, and then got up and went on my day. Imagine sitting with your friend, let’s say Jess, at lunch. She tells you something amazing. You found out asecret to life or just shared a beautiful moment together. You immediately turn your phone onto selfie mode and tell everyone on Instagram what you just experienced with Jess, and then after you post to social, you get up and walk out of the restaurant and leave her with the bill, not even saying goodbye. How rude?!

Wouldn’t it be kinder to first say, “Excuse me Jess, do you mind if I share this on Instagram and tell others what you just told me?” Or maybe it would be more polite to do it later at a different time and keep getting to know Jess while you’re at lunch together? Maybe when you’re having that alone time with God, wait to share online until later? And of course, above all things, don’t just walk out without saying goodbye to God and leaving Him the check! Thanks for the help!

Maybe you are still present with God when you post to social and it’s not a problem.

But if it’s stripping you of peace that Christ wants to give you, it may be a hindrance to your growth with Him.

Maybe you don’t cut your alone time with God short for the internet, but maybe it’s something else. Maybe you stop taking to God when you worry or do the dishes, get ready for work, or even when you work out?

If you do notice a pain that comes from doing anything for that matter that cuts out your time with God short, the root of this problem may stem to a place that aims to strive rather then rest in Jesus.

If you felt like you needed to accomplish a social media post more then spend time with Jess or God, you aren’t really walking in that full peace from the present moment that Christ gives, and instead your living for the future accomplishments that God has already gone before to bring to completion.

I honestly don’t know how this happened, but my alone time with God started to get shorter and shorter when I started to rely on my own strength rather then His, “to accomplish His plans.”

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you and help 
you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If all I want to do is serve the Lord and accomplish what He has put on my heart to do, isn’t He going to help me? I think so! I’m not sure if you rely on your own strength the majority of the time rather then God’s, but it can get really exhausting. I would wake up sometimes feeling like a failure or dreading the day like I was going to fail before I even started. How could I believe that lie when the creator of the Universe is my captain?

While I was freaking out at my computer the other day about my life situation, I knew the Lord was probably having a good laugh at me. There are 6 billion people in the world, 195 countries, 391,000 different plants, 8 planets, that we know of so far, sorry I love you Pluto. There’s 8.7 million different species on earth, 1-2 million of those being animals, 228,450 known species in the ocean, and as many as 2 million more species remaining a mystery in the ocean.

Um… I’m not really sure what to do now…. (extremely long silence)  What have I been saying to myself everyday? I have been missing out on a ton of alone time with the creator of the Universe who accomplished all that! Why would I want to miss out on that alone time! Why would I not want to know this guy? Before when I was relying so much on myself, I would spend a short time with God, get something from him, share it, and then proceed to go on my day like I had to get things done. It was almost like I checked something off a box, even though I have had days with God where that wasn’t the case. When did it come to this? When did time with the Creator of the Universe become a ‘scary’ chore?

This is a complete side note, but while writing this I literally had stop writing and I started saying, “Wow, Wow, Wow” and laughed. I get to have a one on one appointment with the creator of the Universe today. What!? I get to talk with the CEO of the world as long as I want, and He will hear me. He will listen. He will respond and answer me. That is awesome! Wow! And He doesn’t just have 10 minutes for me either. He has the whole day. He wants to spend the whole day with me. He wants me to need Him. He wants me to trust Him. Doesn’t every Father want us to trust them? Wow! He’s not going to hurt me. He’s going to protect me. He’s not upset with me. He loves me. Wow!

I just got this picture from the Lord of a Father loving His child. He wants the best for Him. He guides Him and leads Him to where He wants Him to go. He gives him a peace when he wants him to stay and he stops him in his tracks when He prefers a different path for His feet. Wow!

The simple act of deciding not to post to Instagram was a personal choice I made to enter into a deeper place with Christ. It might not be posting to instagram for you, maybe it’s something else? It could be anything really. It could be texting, getting ready for work, washing the dishes, shopping, being with friends.

Anything that is keeping you from that one on one appointment with Jesus is striping you of the peace and joy the Father wants to give through His son.

It’s a peace like no other. I wouldn’t be writing about this if I haven’t physically experienced it for myself.

Spending the day with Jesus is by far the coolest thing I could ever do with my life. Seriously.

You could have a $100,000 salary, your dream job, or working a 9-5 at a minimum wage job, but still be as happy as a clam when you’re spending that entire day with Jesus. You could be on a boat in the Caribbean or be volunteering at the homeless shelter and both experiences would be absolutely out of this world amazing, because you are in fellowship with the man who made the stars!

The man who made the stars has got your back! Dude! That is awesome! You will receive everlasting peace if you spend time with our Creator. I can guarantee it. You will be blessed. You won’t just get to know Christ, but He will get to know you, and even though He formed you from the beginning, He wants to hear from you. He wants for you to acknowledge Him as your creator. In Matthew 7:21-23 it reads:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ 
shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who 
does the will of My Father in heaven. Many 
will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, 
have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out 
demons in Your name, and done many wonders in 
Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, 
‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who 
practice lawlessness!’

Wow! That’s pretty wild! You could aim to serve Jesus, but you actually never fellowship with Him. You never stood still, and trusted, knowing that He was God, the Great I Am.

Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.

Here are some bible verses to encourage you in this truth. Meditate on these for the day and enjoy your time with Jesus. I will leave you for now because I rather you hear from God more then from me. God Bless and enjoy your day of fellowship!

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. 
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, 
for the Lord your God goes with you; he will 
never leave you nor forsake you.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will 
strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you 
with my righteous right hand

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, 
and he will strengthen you and protect you 
from the evil one

Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in 
you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. 
Spread your protection over them, 
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Pslam 20:1 May the Lord answer your when 
you are in distress; may the name of the 
God of Jacob protect you

Psalm 34:19 – The righteous person may have 
many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from 
them all

Pslam 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, 
an ever-present help in trouble

2 Samuel 22:3-4 My God is my rock, in whom 
I take refuge, my shield and the horn of 
my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge 
and my savior – from violent people you save 
me I called to the Lord, who is worthy of 
praise, and have been saved from my enemies.

Fall On Your Knees & Rise To Joy

It’s not even 9 a.m. yet and I know today is going to be a great day. It’s already been a great day so far. Why? The first thing I did this morning was fall on my knees sincerely in front of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, crying and thanking Him for his love and kindness. Thanking him for everything He has given me; my friends, family, forgiveness in areas I rather not admit here, and providing for me when I had nothing.

Now if you don’t believe in God or Jesus Christ, I just dare you to keep reading just to see what He is doing in my life by sincerely loving Him with my whole heart.

The first commandment says ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength; Mark 12:30.’

The Lord doesn’t say this because He wants you to have a horrible life, but because He wants to give you an abundant life, one that no one could ever dream of.

1 Corinthians: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

I have desired to wake up at 5 a.m. everyday so I could be with the Lord and workout. For a long time, I used to kick myself if I didn’t wake up by 5 a.m. I would wake up thinking I was a failure. Crazy right? Not sure if you have ever felt this way? If you don’t get that guitar lesson in or work on you blog, you’re a failure at life. Maybe you still get anxiety when opening your finances? That was me too, but no longer.

Praise the Lord! He has healed me of all of that! I learned that that was just the enemy, the Devil, trying to steal my joy.

John 10:10 says, ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’

Have you ever read the book, “The Miracle Morning”? It’s a great book. It’s a great way to make a plan and to discipline yourself with getting everything done that you would like to do before the day begins. Especially if you are a CEO or have a job that requires a lot of high demand tasks, or you just have a lot of goals you want to tackle; this is a great book to read.

Never the less, I am going to address a subject that isn’t meant to belittle this book in anyway, it’s just to address our mindset that comes with great books like these and other great books that are meant to help us.

Maybe this is just me, but after I read this book, if I didn’t accomplish the ‘Miracle Morning’ everyday, I was a failure. I must not love the Lord my God with all my heart and all my soul. I was walking in defeat. My joy was being stripped from me before I even got out of bed! That sounds horrible, but guess what? That was a lie from the enemy, the Devil!

All I ever needed and all that was ever going to complete me was the love from Jesus Christ. He paid it all for all my sins on the cross, but I still had been walking around like He never died for me to begin with. I was walking around like I needed something else; maybe the ‘The Miracle Morning” to satisfy my soul more then anything.

I sang the songs. I prayed. I delighted in him, but I didn’t fully delight in him the way He wanted me to. You know what He wanted me to do? Jesus wanted me to fall on my knees, and sincerely be with him in prayer.

When I googled bible verses that talk about falling on your knees, 100 different bible verses came up! Can you believe that? So many people in the word of God were physically falling on their knees to the King of the world! They were on their knees in prayer to their Father!

    Here are a few:

Ephesians 3:14 – For this reason I bow my knees before the Father

Luke 22:41 – And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed

Isaiah 45:23 – By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.

Acts 7:60 – And fall to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

You can google more of these and dig into scripture if you like, but I am going to stop at this bible verse because of how I ended up falling asleep about an hour afterwards. Funny enough, this time I fell back asleep with peace from God to do so.

Let’s start from the beginning of this day though shall we? Remember how I had said I wanted to wake up at 5 a.m. everyday? Well, the Lord was always being so kind and waking me up! He was waking me up at 4 a.m. some days even, and then 5 a.m. and then 6 a.m. He was answering my prayer to wake me up around the time I wanted to. I didn’t even need an alarm clock.

This morning however I woke up around 4 a.m. and I saw a huge shadow on the side of my wall that looked like a huge guardian angel kneeling with their hands behind their back. I didn’t have my glasses on, but I could see this shadow very clearly. I’m not saying it definitely was a guardian angel. I have seen an angel before, but I won’t get into that story here. I’ll save that for another time. Either way, God used this shadow that looked like a guardian angel kneeling to get me out of bed.

Funny enough too, when I turned the light on, the curtain was tucked behind the blinds.  I have no idea how the curtain got tucked in that way. It was weird. This made the shadow look more like the hands were behind him. Anyway…fun fact. 

I knelt before my bed and started to weep, thanking the Lord for all that He has given me. My evil, sinful self wants more, but He has already provided enough. He has healed my broken wrist. He has turned dark days into bright days. He has answered every prayer that I asked of him in his name, for his glory. He has been my rock and my redeemer through the darkest of valleys.

Days when I would just want to roll over and keep sleeping, I knew the Lord was watching me and this time, sincere fear of the Lord crept him. He wanted me to rise and fall on my knees.

It says in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I jumped out of bed and kneeled. I mean it was pretty obvious I was supposed to, with that giant in my room showing me me to do so.

I looked up onto my bed and saw my laptop, my books and pens, and I realized this morning was different. Usually I would want to grab my laptop and books and get to work. I clung onto my technology like it was going to save me. I slept with it at night even! That’s a little terrifying right? I was sleeping with my technology like it was going to give me sweet, sweet dreams.

I looked up and saw the sign above my bed that read: “Jesus Loves You.”

This sign is such a gift from God. It’s not just a sign that I decided to put up for decoration, but the Lord told me to and it was filled with sticky notes I actually received from Him personally and my sister who had passed away. That is an amazing story, but you can read about that in another post.

I look up at this sign and I’m ‘Wow’d at what the Lord has done in my life. I can’t believe what He has done. He has done great things! He has done miracles beyond miracles. I couldn’t stop thanking Him for them all. I knew, I knew, I knew he was so real, and I wept.

I get to walk outside today God!? I get to love people today God! I get to see?! I get to dance?! Really Jesus? You have given me this gift of life to enjoy your goodness? Really? You gave me another day to be here with your children?! Thank you Father! Thank you Father for this gift I cried out! Well, I cried out in a whisper because remember it is 4:30 a.m. in the morning and my roommate and neighbors are probably still sleeping.

I started to read the word and a book that helps you read the word, but my body felt too tired to read or workout. I wanted to be awake, but I didn’t have energy yet. I fell asleep, but this time I didn’t feel condemned about going back to sleep. I felt loved by God and that it was okay to rest.

This truth rang through in my dreams when the Lord showed his love in the dream and through the experience He was about to give me. It really was ‘Wow!”

My sister, Crystal, had died a little over a year ago, and when I was riding a motorcycle in the dream and got a little lost with all my family and friends disappearing, I got scared. I started to cry out for all my sisters, “Julie, Crystal, Kaela!” I yelled. “Julie, Kaela, Crystal!”

Growing up we would always yell everyone’s name on accident when trying to just call one sister, because our brains would get confused with which name to say. It’s funny, I know. Within minutes, I felt my sister, Crystal, riding on the back of the motorcycle with me, holding on to me. What?! This felt so real! Crystal was with me! She was alive!

It almost felt like a vision. It felt like a real life situation.  It wasn’t imaginary. Crystal was really riding the motorcycle with me! I felt her holding onto me.

I started to talk to her and I said I am sorry for everything. I missed her and I told her that I missed her.  Once I told her that I missed her though and started to cry, I woke up immediately and never heard her response.

‘Wow!’ I had thought. I was just riding a motorcycle with my sister who passed away! That was such a blessing! It was like the Lord was giving back to me since I fell on my knees and praised him. I woke up with joy and knew it was going to be a good day!

I am going to proceed with telling you about the rest of my day, but I want you to keep in mind that I wasn’t finding joy in my circumstances for the day. My joy was coming from my relationship with Jesus. He met me in my room at 4:30 a.m. and no person, place or thing could take that away from me. All of my following experiences were going to be delightful no matter what because I just met one on one with the King of the Universe while I was sincerely praying on my knees. 

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

My first adventure of the day was physical therapy. I pull up into the parking lot and  I hear my friend’s husband voice in the parking lot, Johnny. I absolutely love those two. My heart is filled up with more joy. The Lord is good. It’s such a small world that he is working on construction outside of my physical therapy.

I then delighted in the Lord some more and had the most wonderful time with my physical therapist and more of his clients and we did therapy on our wrists and shoulders. I told them how my neighbors and I love to pull pranks on each other, and I’m thinking about… oh wait…they may read this so I won’t tell you what the prank is. But funny enough, the Physical Therapist may be in on it now.

I then proceeded to go to the Allentown Rose Garden to write this post that you are currently reading if you made it this far. Glory to God if you are and why not buy a cookie on me today for achieving something and reading something other then a facebook post. 

Well, the cookie really isn’t on me. It’s on God. He will provide the money somehow for you to go buy yourself a cookie. I’m just granting you permission to enjoy some of that sugar today.

I was almost at the Rose Garden and I saw a coffee shop on my left hand side. It looked so cute and I had never been, so I decided, “Why not?!” Why not try something new, and so I ordered a coffee and a breakfast sandwich and wrote about how good the Lord is. 

If you are ever in Allentown PA, you need to check out this awesome Breakfast & Lunch spot. All the locals are going there! 

Sitting outside, there wasn’t a customer that I didn’t get to talk to. I had the most lovely conversations with the locals here in Allentown. We talked about politics, God, the weather, and how there are some good and bad people in this world. We rejoiced in the sunshine and wished each other to have a beautiful weekend. People were actually talking to each other rather then being on their phones. It was delightful!

Did I fail to mention one of the prayers I made this morning? I cried out to God to serve his people. I cried out to God for Him to allow me to see his people and be there for them. I didn’t want to live in a self absorbed world anymore where I was constantly worrying and thinking about what is going to happen to me, but I wanted to live in a place of ‘How can you use me God for your people today? What can I give them today God? Allow me to give!”

Sitting here at this coffee shop and interacting with God’s people showed me how beautiful He answers prayers. This simple time at this café showed me how beautiful it is to fall on my knees in the morning. The time I had at physical therapy, was all so beautiful because I loved the Lord my God with all my heart and mind. My day was beautiful, joyful, peaceful, filled with so much content I didn’t know what to with it all, but give it away, because I had sincerely delighted in the Lord at 4:30 a.m.

I share my day with you in this way because I wanted to pin point the fact that my joy didn’t come from the breakfast or coffee I had. My joy didn’t come from the conversations at physical therapy, or my dreams and friends I saw throughout the day. It didn’t come from wanting anything from anyone at anytime throughout the day because I already had enough.

My joy had come only from my intimate and real relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything else that was wonderful only became more wonderful because I was delighting in the Lord first.

It’s only been Day 2 in this journey with delighting in the Lord like this, but I desperately encourage you to take my advice and do so! You won’t just receive, but you will get to enjoy one of the most beautiful things of all, giving!

Acts: 20:35 says, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

I dare you to fall on your knees crying out to the Lord the next morning you rise, or the next moment you get to be with Jesus in your busy schedule.  Fall on your knees and rise to joy, for the Lord will lift you up from the darkest valley and he will give you rest.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Enough

I’m reminded over and over again that I am enough for God. I don’t need to write a book, become a well-known artist or speaker to be worthy of His love. I’ve noticed the shift in atmosphere when I decide to rest in this. I have so much time off from work right now that I am in a beautiful season of being okay with being where I am. I’m okay with resting.

It feels weird to rest so much. You can start to feel like you are sitting on your hands. This is not true though. I think God just really wants me to rest, and in a new way I never did before.

I never had thought about this, but getting things done can give you a thrill of accomplishment, just like it feels when you work out. You feel good that you accomplished something. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with feeling good when you accomplish something, but maybe there’s an even deeper level of peace and joy we can achieve with the awareness of this.

Can my greatest feeling come from my relationship with God and leave everything else be secondary? Can I truthfully say to God, ‘there’s nothing I hold onto’? That’s a tough one. We can sing it and we can want it, but I kind of do really want a husband someday. I kind of really do want a good salary job. I want a house and kids. I want my health, my eyes and ears. I want a car and yearly vacations. I want to travel and learn about the world. I want to laugh and have fun and some days not talk about the bad stuff. Continue reading “Enough”