Monday, July 30, 2012

It Takes a Village? Maybe Not...

When I was working on my Master’s degree, I took a theology course. Our main text was written by Stanley Grenz who sees all of theology through the “lens” of community. One of my fellow students, Kim, was so sick of hearing about community by the end of that course that she could barely stomach it. Needless to say she wasn’t a big fan of Grenz. I rather liked his take on theology and although it is not the primary factor that shapes my theology, it is probably in my top five. Kim and I are still good friends even though we don’t agree about Grenz, but that’s probably because I believe in community so much.

I’ve been thinking about community a lot lately. I think it was a key ingredient in the early church. I think for the most part it’s a missing ingredient in the 21st Century church…but I don’t think it should be. The problem is that it takes time and effort to build community and I have a sneakin’ suspicion it also takes some work by the Holy Spirit. There’s a difference between a community and a village. A few years ago former First Lady, Hillary Clinton wrote a book entitled, “It Takes A Village.” It was a nice thought but the truth is it takes more than a village. You see, a village is a group of people who live in the same geographic location but they can still be disjointed, disconnected and dysfunctional and still be a village. A community is a group of people linked together not so much by geography as by heart, soul, vision and purpose. What I think it “takes” is a community.

Here’s the problem: I think the church lives a lot more like a village than a community. We are bound by geography (same church building) but many times are still disjointed, disconnected and dysfunctional. We ought to live in community, united by heart, soul, vision and purpose. That doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, discovery, assessment and intentionality to become a community. Sometimes people come to the realization during that process that although they are linked by geography they are not part of the heart and soul of the community. They may choose to move on to a place where they can be part of the community. We grieve over the loss but I think we probably should celebrate. I don’t intend for that to sound mean but I know some will take it that way. Shouldn’t we all want each other to be where we can be a part of community? That’s a good thing, right?

I get so excited when I see community begin to happen. As I write this blog, we have three people in our church building right now who are cleaning restrooms, vacuuming and mopping floors. They volunteered to do that this week because it was needed for the greater good of our faith community. A few minutes ago I got a call from a woman who lives in our neighborhood. She needed a ride to a woman’s shelter tonight for a meeting for abused women. I texted someone in our community and they agreed to give her a ride…no questions asked. Last week Jane and I visited a couple in our church family where the husband is recovering from major surgery. Some limbs needed to be trimmed because they were damaging their roof. I passed the information along to a man in our faith community who said he’d take care of it…no cost. Over and over, every week, I see community beginning to happen more and more in our church family. Although some will never understand this statement I have to say it anyway: We are never more spiritual than when we are living out a loving community as a testimony of what Christ has done in us.

How about you? Are you living in a village or a community?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hidden Objects

Here lately I've been playing a lot of hidden object games online.  They're not my favorite, but I realized today that they're not as bad as I originally thought.  Today as I was playing, I realized that there's some things about life that can be learned from a hidden object game.

In case you're not aware of what a hidden object game is, it's a game that generally uses scenes cluttered with all kinds of objects, and then provides you a list of things to find within the time limit.  Usually, throughout the course of the game, you'll find yourself back in the same scene looking for different items.  There also tends to be a button you can push to get a hint if you're totally at a loss to find something.

Lately my life has been dominated with thoughts regarding my purpose and searching for direction, I couldn't help but realize that life isn't a hidden object game.  We have been entrusted with the answers.  How we get those answers may vary.  Sometimes we only have to look for them and other times we have to ask for them. 

In re-studying the Parables over the past several weeks, I was completely struck by something Jesus said to the disciples after they asked him why he was using parables to teach the crowds.  Matthew 13:11 (NIV) reads "He replied, 'The knowledge of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.'" Christ's disciples have the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven.  Other translations say the "secrets of the kingdom."  That means that, as Christians, we've got inside information that the rest of the world doesn't have.  We should take comfort in the fact that we're entrusted with this information, and we should be sharing it.

Hidden object games frustrate me and give me headaches.  I'm so glad that my real life isn't an hidden object game!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Discipline Makes the Difference

"A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals." – Larry Bird

NBA legend Larry Bird used to shoot 500 free throws every morning before his high school classes started. He used to shoot for two hours after practice ended before heading home for dinner. Even when he was in the NBA, hours before anyone arrived at the arena, Bird was out there shooting jumpers, one after another, after another, after another. He ended his career with the 10th best free throw percentage in NBA history, a list of other statistical accomplishments, and a place in the NBA Hall of Fame. But many coaches would tell you that Larry Bird is remembered as a Legend in sports not because he was one of the most talented athletes, but because he was one of the most disciplined. His success in basketball was determined by his daily routine.

I don't think that America has ever seen a more undisciplined age. We have an over-reliance on gift, talent and ability to make things happen, and not practice, diligence and hard work. We approach life with an "anything goes" mindset, and as a result, we never really accomplish many things that we desire. How many times have you heard or said, "I'm going to lose weight this year", or, "I'm finally going to drop this bad habit"...or what about, "I'm going to be more punctual this time"? How many fantastic writers don’t have books for sale on Amazon yet? Or, how many incredible singers don’t have albums recorded? While we may have incredible talents and the best of intentions, what fills the gap between ability and achievement is the power of discipline.

What is discipline? The dictionary lists several definitions for it; my personal favorite: “the act of creating a state of order and obedience by focused training and or regular and systematic action”. But I also like this one that I’ve assembled from the various definitions I have found to make a personal challenge to myself in the area of discipline:

Discipline is intentional action establishing a state of order necessary to reach a desired goal.

I believe that there are several things that we struggle with that make it difficult for us to live disciplined lives:

Insignificance. Many people are unaware of their own significance. They don't really believe that they matter. They therefore live carelessly because they lack an awareness of what they have actually been given life to accomplish. To overcome this challenge, we need to know our PURPOSE. Proverbs 29:18 says, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” Vision for life creates restraint and discipline. When we fail to take into account God's calling, design, or purpose for our life, we will live “off purpose”, undisciplined lives. We won't realize the importance of discipline without realizing who we really are, and the purposes for which we were created.

Indifference. People who struggle with indifference are those who may have some clue of what they could be doing, but they don't have motivation to act. Sadly, many of us simply do not love ourselves enough to change. What we need is PASSION. When we care enough about ourselves and the difference we can make in the world, we will develop the motivation needed to break patterns of apathy.

Ignorance. Many people realize their PURPOSE, and the idea of them living it out inspires PASSION, but they yet don’t know exactly what actions are required to get moving. The challenge here is having a PLAN. Plans place proper actions in a proper sequence, and allow us to get moving to establish the discipline necessary to passionately pursue life on purpose.

Don't neglect your purpose-making process any longer. Realize who you are. God has created you to be significant. You are chosen by God for a unique purpose. It is a purpose unique to your identity, which means that there is potential buried on the inside of you, waiting to be released. Be aware of who you are, be aware of why you're here, and be aware of what you need to do every day to passionately make that happen. Let's develop the discipline necessary to become the people God created us to be.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Saturday Mornings, A Kitten, and Learning to Trust

On Saturday morning as I was walking by my front door, I happened to notice that there was a kitten sitting on my porch.  Interesting as the two cats I do own are geriatric and unable to reproduce.  The kitten who has been named Kitty Purry mostly because the girls and I had gone to see the Katy Perry movie earlier in the week, is still residing on my porch.  

On Saturday however, I decided with my hair a fright and my Thing 1 and Thing 2 pajamas on (purchased from the Cat in the Hat store at Universal Studios for pajama days at preschool) I should go out to meet this new member of my family.  Unfortunately for me, as soon as I opened the door and stepped out the kitten startled away.  I then decided it would be a good idea to call for this kitten and walk around the front and side yard to try and find it.  Being as that it was a bit early still, it didn’t occur to me that any of my neighbors would be out to see this event.  As it happens, I was incorrect in this assumption.  As I am walking around calling for this kitten that not even I can see because it had hidden itself quite deeply within a large bush in my front yard, a neighbor happened by to witness this event.  She was pushing her one year old in a stroller walking past my house.  She looked at me.  I looked down at myself.  I then said “Hello, uh yeah, this is weekend wear right?”  She smiled, “Yeah sure.”   I followed with, “I’m looking for a kitten, you see, it just showed up.  Do you know anyone who is missing one?  It looks like the cat we had that died seven years ago.”  She then informed me that she didn’t know anyone who was missing a kitten and silently hoped her son wouldn’t make eye contact so they could get by as quickly as they could.  

I can only imagine what she was thinking.  Perhaps she was thinking something such as this, “Is this what happens when you get older?  Do teenagers do that to you?  Does she really believe that there is a cat?  I don’t see a cat.  I wonder if she thinks she IS the cat since she is wearing Thing 1 and Thing 2 pajamas.  I think I’ve seen her dancing while she mows the yard.  I think she sings too.  Maybe if I pretend I don’t see her next time, she won’t engage.”  Or maybe she thought the scene before her was perfectly natural.  She does dress up as a Disney Princess on Halloween.  We call her Cinderella at our house.  She is quite lovely and very kind.  She would have to be to engage the crazy lady in pajamas calling for a kitten she can’t see.
I go outside and talk to the kitten.  I bought some kitten food for it.  I sing Jesus Loves Me and I implore the kitten to trust me, to come to me and let me be her mama.  I promise the kitten that I will not hurt her and that I only want to be her friend and take care of her.  I tell her about the kids, the kids go out and talk to her, I tell her about the two cats we already own, the cats run from her.  I do all of these things and yet the kitten still won’t come to me and then… the light bulb.  

I’m sure you saw this coming long before I did.  It took me a little longer and then it sort of jumped out at me.  I was just holding my hand out to the kitten and singing The Lord Is My Shepherd and it occurred to me.  

Is this how my Father feels?  He wants us to come to Him to trust Him to let Him take care of us and what do we do?  We scurry away.  Why?  Does He understand why we do it?  For the life of me I cannot understand what is wrong with this cat.  I feed her, I water her, I do everything I know to do and the thing will just not come to me.  I don’t make any sudden movements as to alarm her.  I want her to come to me.  I don’t want to just grab her and have her not trust me.  Why does she not get it?  Why do I not get it?  Why do we not get it?  I’m not sure of the answer.  I only know that my Father wants me to come to Him.  He wants me to trust Him.  He wants me to let Him take care of me and you know what?  I am tired of running away.  What about you?
Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. 

I guess just like with that kitten I don’t need to understand.

I just need to trust.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Blessed Journey

If there is one statement that sparks intense feelings of exhaustion, exhilaration, joy and love in the hearts of church volunteers everywhere, it might be "VBS week is over."  (Did you just let out a sigh because last week WAS your church's VBS week?  A sigh of relief that your church's VBS was three weeks ago?  A slight bit of panic because you're on the volunteer list for next week's VBS?)   I think it is universal - we ALL love VBS - Vacation Bible School.  Seeing the kids singing and crafting and running and praying and praising - it truly is a sight to behold.  These little people, some of whom don't see the love of Jesus at home get to spend the week around peers playing and having fun and around adults who just want to show an outpouring of love to each and every one of them.  I've got to tell the truth - I love the children.  There are moments that I feel like pulling my hair out, to be sure, but after having completed our week of VBS at our church, the exhaustion that I'm feeling right now is very much worth it.  The fatigue, the battle scars... they leave us with more character than when we went in... and now that we're on the other side.  We're thankful that it is over, not because it wasn't fun, not because the activities and games and music and people weren't fabulous... but because it is a once - a - year event and the work that went into this year's endeavor is completed.  Another mission accomplished.

Matthew 7:12 ”So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

I think that it is important to remember that, as volunteer workers, we need to be kind to ourselves.  After an extraordinarily busy week, I knew that I had plans this wonderful Sunday evening to come home, after a full day - church and Sunday School, followed by a luncheon after services (mentioning that I -along with some of the best ladies anywhere cooked all that food yesterday just adds to my level of exhaustion) and then took my boys' friend home (who spent the night last night - I think I am beginning to think I *might* just be a little crazy...) and then to our friends' home to share dinner and a business meeting... Oh yes, indeed... those plans included coming home and stretching out on the couch and doing precisely nothing!  I might get to actually do that sometime before midnight... But, however we do so, we need to be kind to ourselves.  We often get caught up in caring for other people and forget to take care of our own basic needs.

Next on the docket for me - and it is so exciting for me that my entire family will be joining me in this project -  but we've got our church Junior Camp coming up.  It will be so much fun to have my hubby and all three boys attending this year!  As we were serving our luncheon today at church, watching our Junior campers helping to serve our elderly and moms with young children brought such joy to my heart... even in several moments of pure fatigue, 30 pounds of taco meat up to my elbows, the joy came through and I continued.  I felt intense thankfulness to all of the people who stayed to help serve, to help clean up, to help put tables away.  I felt gratitude to the men who did dishes and took the full and heavy bags of trash out to the dumpster so that the ladies didn't have to.  I felt incredibly blessed to be surrounded by a community that supports our children in such a real, tangible way.

So, next up is, indeed, camping. Rustic cabins, no air conditioning, bugs, snakes... and some of the coolest kids and most amazing adults I could ever ask to know.  We'll get through the rustic-ness together, just like we got through this week of VBS - together.  It isn't always the easiest thing to do right by a child, it is an exhausting journey.  But it is ALWAYS the best thing to do right by a child.  It truly does "take a village" to raise children.  I'm blessed that my children are part of a village that goes to great lengths to support, love, cherish, honor, protect, teach and encourage its children.  I'm blessed that we're surrounded by exhausted, slightly wacky folks who might, at this very moment, be thankful that it is over, but are already signed up to participate next year.  No amount of bugs, rustic-ness or snakes are going to keep them away from doing right by our children.

Isaiah 54:13  All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

I'd like to take a moment to thank your church's children's volunteers.  They get paid in messy hugs, finger paint stains on their arms and peanut butter in their hair.  They are part of the village that help our children see the love of Jesus in a real way.  Their jobs are not easy but they do them with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts.  They are teaching me to enjoy this ministry and their joy is contagious - to the children and to other potential volunteers.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Here I Come to Bow Down

Michal was the daughter of Saul.  Though short-lived, she enjoyed a passionate love for David, perhaps loving him since the time he calmed Saul's soul with his harp playing.  But she was ensnared in the drawn-out battle between Saul and David, and her inability to control the circumstances of her life left her embittered.  At the outset of her love affair with David, she defied her father to save her husband's life.  A woman of strong emotions, she didn't care at that time that her decision would bring down Saul's wrath upon her life.  Forcibly separated from David, Michal probably thought at the outset that it would be a small separation or that David would find a way to protect her from Saul's anger.  Was she disbelieving when Saul actually married her to another man? I'm sure her bitterness grew during David's long absence.  Then came the resignation that she should settle into her new life.  I imagine Michal had finally made peace with her new husband when David showed up again to reclaim her after Saul's death.  Michal was wrested away from two husbands, and she lost her father and brother to savagery.  There is no indication in I or II Samuel that Michal had any faith to sustain her through the tragic circumstances of her life. 

In II Samuel 6:12 - 16 we read of the triumphal procession of the ark of the Lord into Jerusalem.  David, a man after God's own heart, celebrated with his entire being:
     So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of 
     David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark had taken six steps, he sacrificed a 
     bull and a fattened calf.  David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his 
     might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the 
     sound of trumpets.  As the ark of the LORD was entering the city of David, Michal daughter of 
     Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the
     LORD, she despised him in her heart.

When the ark reached its designated place inside the tent, there were burnt offerings and fellowship offerings given to the Lord.  He blessed his people in the name of the Lord and there was feasting.  Michal, however, despised David.  Instead of participating in the worship, she watched -- choosing not to participate.  She was worried more about how David looked to others than caring about praising the God that her husband loved so much.  Instead of abandoning herself to worship, Michal was worried about appearance. 

What approach do you take to worship times at church or special events?  Are you more like David? or more like Michal?  David was loud and proud with his worship of the Lord. Through his actions and the many Psalms penned that reveal his deep love for God, we see that David's love for God could not be contained: it burst forth exuberantly!  Michal was closed off from worship, standing back and crossing her arms scornfully at what she was seeing.  There's no way that she would worship the Lord because it would require her to act in ways that others might look down upon.  She wouldn't sing at the top of her lungs or dance with abandon because she might look silly.  Or maybe she couldn't give herself completely over to God because she was fostering hate or rage for David in her heart.  Michal's contempt for her husband and those worshiping reveals her lack of true dedication.  Women of the Bible says "She was content to be a critical spectator rather than a true worshiper of God."

I challenge you today: Do not let appearance or tradition of form ever creep in above a true desire to worship your God and Savior.  As David replied in II Sam. 6:21b - 22, "I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes..."  This calls to mind all of the times that I was in a worship situation in the past, times when I didn't raise my hands with abandon like I felt the Spirit prodding me to, times when I didn't fall on my knees in supplication or sit quietly with head bowed.  Luckily, God and I had this conversation awhile back, and I don't carry that hesitation with me into worship anymore.  Conversely, I always try to focus on the lyrics of new songs, often reading them through without singing along the first time, so that I can internalize the attributes of God being sung about and still find communion in worship.  After all, it's all about God.

      Ascribe the LORD the glory due his name.  Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
                                                                I Chronicles 16:29

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why I Love Marriage

In a world where things change often and everything seems disposable, I am excited to soon celebrate 14 years of marriage.  I love change and find it hard to stick with most things long term.  Before I got married about the only thing that didn't change in my life on a consistent basis was my relationship with Jesus Christ.  I made a commitment to a relationship with him over 30 years ago and even though we have had our ups and downs (my doing, not His), I am in it for the long haul.  When I married Evan on August 15, 1998 (I still remember the date, Hon.), I knew I was in it for the long haul and that he was too.

Now almost 14 years later, we have lived in 8 different homes/apartments, 4 different states, had 4 kids, had 15 different jobs (combined), traveled tens of thousands of miles, owned 7 vehicles (two at a time), and eaten over 12,000 meals.  Through all of that I have been able to have my best friend there with me.

Evan and I have rather similar personalities.  One book describes our combination as one that would "kill each other or change the world."  I want to say that up front because I want you to know that being married is far from easy.  We often agree on big issues, but it can be the little ones that "upset the fruit basket."  However, we have learned over the years that humor is a wonderful thing and can lighten a disagreement and get things into a clearer perspective quickly.

As I have had the wonderful opportunity to attend a wedding this past weekend, I thought it would be nice to reflect on why I like being married:

I have a partner in this journey.   
Evan and I enjoy being together.  We like many similar things and have learned to appreciate things that the other person enjoys.  We have both felt similar calls to ministry and have also felt free to follow God's call to new places, even when it means being far away from family.  When Evan was a youth pastor, I helped with the youth.  When I directed VBS, Evan helped when I needed him.  Even if it is not our primary call, we willingly support the other person and the things they feel God is leading them to do.  Evan regularly reads my blog posts as a final perspective before I post them.  Though I have moved many times and have had to say many goodbyes, I have had my husband to go with me into each new place.  I am not alone.

I have someone who accepts me.  
I know I am difficult to live with.  I know I tend toward the extremes with things.  I know that God gave me the one guy who could put up with my antics for a lifetime and continue to love me.  I hated dating.  I hated having to try to impress someone or get their approval.  I remember an old song by Degarmo and Key called "I'm Accepted."  One of the lines says, "I'm accepted, by the One who matters most."  It's talking about Jesus and how He accepts us.  He loves us unconditionally.  That doesn't mean He likes everything we say and do.  It doesn't mean He is proud of all of our actions.  But, His love does not change based on what we do.  I truly feel that way in my marriage.  I know I make mistakes and I don't always make Evan proud to be my husband, but Evan has never stopped loving me because of something I said or did and he has always stuck around to work through things.

I have someone who is committed to me.  
When we said our vows and signed the marriage certificate, I knew that there was no changing our minds.  We made the choice to stay together, through the good, the bad and the ugly.  We have changed as people since we got married.  Our looks have changed.  Our tastes in food have changed.  Our ministry callings have changed.  But, we are committed to work together through those changes and we trust the other person to be there and not give up on the relationship.  It's wonderfully freeing to have that lifelong commitment with someone and I continue to find it mind-boggling why people would choose to live with someone and make big life choices together without ever sealing it in the commitment of marriage.  The marriage covenant that we made is the foundation that all of our life choices can rest on and gives me the security to make choices like buying a home together or moving to a new state with him away from family and friends.

Looking at these three main things that I like about marriage reminds me of the Bible's use of marriage as an analogy for our relationship with Christ.  I could also say these three things apply to my walk with Jesus Christ and once again they give me a level of peace and security that goes beyond the chaos and uncertainty of the world I live in. 

Are you married?  Why do you like being married?  If you're not married but want to be, what are you looking for in a spouse?  Do you want the things I've listed?  Are you compromising those desires in order to get someone to love you?  No matter your situation, you can have acceptance, commitment and a partner for life in Jesus Christ.  He should be the one who gives you the security, peace and confidence first and then the spouse should be the earthly example (remembering of course that humans are flawed and cannot completely fulfill our needs like Jesus). 

As you can see, I talked nothing about material possessions we have, money we've made, our health, places we've been or our children.  Though there is a place for children, possessions and other "things" in our lives, they are not necessary for our marriage to survive and our marriage is not dependent on other things.  That way, whether things are going good or bad in other areas, physically, financially, emotionally, etc. it does not change the fact that we are married.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Insurmountable

Insurmountable. This is a human word. It doesn't exist in God's vocabulary. He would never say it. He wouldn't think it. Neither should we.

My family is facing what some people might believe to be insurmountable circumstances, but we know the truth, that we serve a God who can do all things. We're not trying to do anything on our own. We are praying together and leaning on the Father. Eric and I pray together. We pray with the kids. We have had to trust them with more than the hearts of any 8 or 10 year old should have to be trusted, but this is what life is right now. They have learned hard lessons, but they have learned good lessons. God is good. All the time. He is all we need.

If I felt at liberty to reveal all that we are going through, you would be shaking your head from side to side, wondering how we're still pressing on. I wondered for a while. It felt like we were sinking, swirling out of control in a storm beyond the confines of anything we have ever experienced. The pressure was overwhelming. The decisions that lay before us were indeterminable. We were nit-picking every decision, every thought, everything we know that we know that we know about God's plan for us. 

There was emptiness. There was wondering. There was doubt in ourselves and our ability to make grown-up decisions. There was the feeling that adolescents get when they are trying to make decisions they aren't yet prepared to make, decisions for which they still need their parents. We needed Jesus. Our awareness of our need for Jesus was greater than it ever had been.

There was prayer. There was Bible study. Wisdom seeking from trusted believers. Advice taking. 

I began to pray that no matter what decisions we made, that we had unity. I knew that I needed to trust God through my husband. This has been a struggle for me in the past, but the Lord has done a mighty work in my heart. It even occurred to me that this might be part of God's purpose for me during this season. Refining my submission skills. I can't tell you what a blessing it has been for me to do so, but that is a topic for another post.

Unity. It came.

Since unity is what I asked God to provide, He did it. It wasn't that we were arguing about the choices that lay before us. It was simply that the task of making the right choices seemed to be insurmountable, as I said. Difficult doesn't begin to describe it. You know that phrase, "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade?" Well, what do you do when life throws you watermelons? That's what we had to decide. How do you make lemonade from watermelons?

I still don't know how everything is going to work out for us. We are making one decision at a time. We are praying. We are seeking God. We have dozens of people praying with us and for us, offering advice, wondering if we are off our rockers, trusting us to make right decisions. We are devoted to not wavering in our stance. God is God no matter what happens. 

God. Is. God.

What I know is limited, but what I know is this. When you pray seeking God's will for your life with an open heart willing to accept whatever God chooses to do, that is the point at which God begins a new work in your life. When you pray knowing that the answer absolutely isn't going to be exactly what you would like it to be, knowing that what you really want is what God wants for you and your loved ones, even if it might make life seem...

yeah. INSURMOUNTABLE...

That's when God works miracles. That's when God changes your heart. Changes your mind. Confirms His plan. Directs your footsteps. Clarifies. Loves. Cherishes. Holds. Teaches. Loves.

God's got this. I have a peace that passes all understanding. I truly cannot explain it. Our plan is set before us. God knows what is going to happen, and I don't. It may be that I don't like what is about to happen in our life, but I don't have to like it. I just have to grow through it. Be faithful anyway. It may be that God has to pull me through the eye of a hurricane to get me through it, but what I know that I know that I know is that...

He will.

He will pull me through if He needs to.

He will carry me.

He will push when I need it.

He will grow me.

I am learning to trust, and I am witnessing great things in my life. 

Whatever happens in your life, choose to trust. Choose to believe that God has your best in mind. 

Choose Him.

With God, all things are possible.

Nothing is insurmountable. That word? It doesn't exist in God's vocabulary.