I'm so sorry for going a bit MIA on you!
Actually I hate to sound dramatic but after returning home from our fantastic European adventures, we experienced some heartbreaking situations with loved ones and I found myself with A LOT of unanswered questions. I wish I could sit with you over coffee and tell you everything, but since we are here I will spare you all the details.
Anyway every time I wanted to post I stopped myself because it felt fake. I even struggled to post on Instagram because I felt so distant from the girl I would have projected myself to be. I was questioning God, doubting my calling, and tempted to quit everything. It sounds crazy but there were a few days last week where I felt convinced I wouldn't make it through my own heartache.
The amazing thing that I have learned though is the power of God working through friendship. So often when I found myself emotionally limping through my day, I would call a friend or open up to an older woman about my issues and I'm telling you... Their words were like the honey I drizzle on my lattes.... Sweet and EXTRA comforting. When it seemed like the world was shaking beneath me and i didn't know how to walk straight, my friends were there to keep me steady.
The Psalmist says that God is "slow to anger and abounding in love". That is exactly what I have experienced over the last few weeks.
One night I was getting ready to lead a ministry event and I seriously felt like I had NOTHING in me capable of leading. Right before the meeting began, a trusted older friend asked how I was doing and... I broke... Sharing even the things I was ashamed of feeling. Right away fear of her judgement crept in... I anticipated her reaction being one of condemnation and correction... And I thought FOR SURE she would doubt my ability to lead after hearing what I was wrestling with. But I couldn't have been farther off! She comforted me with her own similar experiences and encouraged me with the compassionate love that God has for me! I was blown away! After that she gave me a big hug and spoke tenderly of how precious I am in God's sight! My strength was renewed, my hope was restored and I felt immediately ready to lead the meeting... AND the evening went great!!
As believers we are called "the BODY of Christ". This side of Heaven God uses our arms to offer His hugs and our mouths to speak His words. If Jesus can't handle our messed up emotions... What hope do we have? God delights to use the people around us to reveal His gentleness and love. He has used my loved ones (near and far!) to show me that over these last two weeks and I am much stronger for it. My wonderfully patient husband has been amazing to walk with through these yucky parts of life too. He counts as both a loved one and a friend, but he deserves an extra spotlight on him, because he sees me at my worst and STILL loves me. He has been MAJORLY helpful in processing my funk, and I'm deeply grateful to God for that.
So though the circumstances around me haven't changed so much, my perspective is changing. I'm realizing again that I do not need to live simply reacting to things happening around me, but with the almighty God living within me, I have access to a hope and a joy that can never be stolen... No matter what comes my way. I have the ability to choose how I will respond! That's a beautiful thing!
All that to say... I'm back in blog land, trusting Jesus with my whole heart. And I'm happy to see you here too.
Be encouraged precious ones-
Despite what is shaking around us, our lives are secure in Christ.
And despite what is aching within us,
our hearts are being held by Him, the lover of our souls.
"You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me."
[[&& In order to make up for lost time, i included some fun iphone shots of the last couple weeks! Beach days... Colorado friends visiting... wedding fun... God-daughters... little brothers... and plenty more! Because really, what's a blog without photos?]]