The Hot-Mess Express

As I write, today, rain is slipping down my window pain as I make bets on which raindrop will make it to the bottom of the window first, I am still in my pjs, I did not make it to church this morning because I purposely didn’t set an alarm last night, makeup from yesterday is still caked on my face, and my hair is in a teased pony tail resting gently on the top of my head.

I am a hot mess.

I also did not actually wake up to do anything until 1 o’clock this afternoon. God is doing something in the peace of this Sunday. It’s like I can hear his heart beating.

*thump*
*thumpthump*
*t h u m p*

His heart is close and gentle, yet strong and fierce. It’s sometimes so bold that I feel like I need to cover my eyes and peak through the cracks of my fingers. I’m learning that once you get a glimpse of Jesus’ heart, you just can’t look away: it’s too beautiful.

*thumpthump*
*thump…..thump….t h u m p*

I can hear him whisper the same truths about my heart back to me. “I just can’t look away from your heart. It’s a full heart, carrying beauty that I put there.”

*thump*
*thump*
*thump*

I’ve been thinking a lot of the human heart, lately. Most of my friends are engaged, getting married, or getting incredibly close to that stage in their lives. So my teased pony tail and caked on make up? Yeah, they’re from a dear friend’s wedding yesterday. 🙂 My internal “hot mess-ness?” it comes from months back, a broken relationship, ignorant heart health practices, and bitterness and resentment at the desert with Jesus.

*thumpthump*

Heartbreak is a raw thing. It feels like a completely different animal–I would never wish it on my worst enemy. But Jesus. Isaiah 53:3 says that [Jesus] was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. It feels, most days, that no one really gets it. The random tears, the “espresso with a scoop of ice cream in it” cravings that come out of the blue, and the inability to break out of habit are a few things that have accompanied my season of heartbreak.

*thump*
*t h u m p*

Jesus whispers kindly, “I get it, beloved one. I am not unable to empathize with your weakness (Hebrews 4:15). I am with you in the mess. My plan is not to abandon ship and let the waves overtake your heart. I am with you. With you. Beside you.”

*thumpthumpthump*

In my opinion, heartbreak from relationships, disappointments, and missed goals aren’t talked about enough in our culture. I think the Church tries to shove it under the rug and cover it with the “Sure it hurts, but God is good and time heals all” line. But actually, God is good and he wants to heal us fully and I think that “band-aid line” causes more harm than good.

God doesn’t stoop down to entrust time to heal our wounds. Isaiah 53:5 says that BY HIS WOUNDS, we are healed. Jesus suffered to heal our wounds. To heal my heart.

*thumpthump*
*thump*
*thump….thump*

The Gospel has never been more real in my life. Over the last 6 ½ months, I’ve never felt weaker or more unsure of the character of God. But it’s in the thunder that’s rolling across the sky, today, that I can feel the beats of God’s heart, afresh.

I spend hours a month in counseling: celebrating the wins, grieving the losses, and learning how to process everything in between. Something that has rang so true in my sessions is that Jesus LOVES sitting with me and hearing my heart, just as I am learning how to sit with him and hear his.

Today, we sat in bed, me and Jesus and after some fist shaking, heartbreak processing, tears, and pinning wedding dresses on my hidden pinterest board (because I still want to get married one day, heeeelllllllo!), Jesus encouraged my heart:

His heart beats for me.
His heart enjoys me.
His heart LOVES me.

He hears my every thought about my future husband, about my dreams, and about my heartbreak. I just felt like today, in the midst of the *thumps* of his heart for us, to acknowledge that my heartbreak sucks, that wholeness is a process, and that we’ve got a gooooooood daddy who hears us and loves us in a way that we don’t even understand.

So for all of you out there reading: acknowledge your brokenness with Jesus, it doesn’t scare him away, celebrate all of the BIG things and every little thing in between. He loves walking with us. He died for that right.

Cling tight. Hold fast. The best is yet to come. 

 

Advertisements

Heaven Shouting and Dream Catching

At the beginning of 2016, I sat in a coffee shop across from one of the best people I know and wrote down a list of dreams and goals for the year. January has a way of creeping up and making one feel like a superhero, like the cares and hurts of the last year dissolve on the first day of the month. Although that ideal way of thinking isn’t always true, it sure feels good to feel as though you are starting fresh.

January 1st, the possibilities are endless. As least that is how it’s always felt for me. January 2nd, 3rd, and 4th carry the hype of “let’s do this thing” as well. But as March rolls around, the hype and build up of the goals have a tendency of coming to a slow halt. That diet and exercise routine that you had planned to do the whole year all of a sudden gets pushed to the back burner, the organization of every room in your house starts slowly gathering the clutter into new corners and shelves that you didn’t even know existed, the hopeful heart starts clinging desperately to hope in the midst of disappointment, hoping to God it doesn’t all slide downhill. The cycle happens every year and for those of us “checklist people” we pray that our goals can be checked off in full. Done. Completed. Bring it on next year.

My “bring it on next year” moment started in that coffee shop. I made a checklist of dreams and goals of my 2016. [Backstory: 2015 was full of sadness and just hard, hard things, so 2016 looked like the promise land] I’ll give you a tiny glimpse into my list:

1. Get into grad school.
2. Hold a sloth
3. Enjoy waking up in the morning again.
4. Travel to the Middle East with someone I love.

Now, obviously, those were the vague ones. I made some very specific goals and had some very specific dreams. I felt as though all were possible and that God really “owed me one.” After the seemingly hellish year I’ve had, I sat in that coffee shop with an entitled attitude.. one of..”surely I’ve paid my dues, I’ve done the work, and now is my time to get the pat on the back from God.” Well, I’m learning that entitlement is the absolute worst and that in the middle of my entitlement, God decided to teach me a tender lesson.

Fast forward to today… I’m smack in the middle of the month of July and ever since March 1, 2016 I have marked off 15 of my 25 goals and dreams as dead, impossible to happen, “pray for 2017 to get here quick because my list is deteriorating quickly”. And for my little checklist heart…I don’t want to settle for petting a sloth instead of holding one or going overseas and going in a completely different way than I planned. That’s not how it was supposed to happen.

That’s not how it was supposed to happen. 

I sit with tears in my eyes as I write this: because this phrase (^) has popped up in multiple conversations with me in the last 4 ½ months. My expectation of 2016 was to have every dream come true, to laugh a whole lot more than I cried, and to sing a more whole and healthy “Hallelujah!” Instead, I’m a lot more broken, I’ve cried more than I’ve laughed, and I have screamed at the heavens saying “GOD THAT’S NOT HOW IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!!!” My hallelujah has been tear-filled, anger-filled, desperation-filled, and weary-filled and I feel like I’m clawing at the Lord begging him to come through. And you know?….I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have started viewing myself as a child (which I should do anyways with God..but that’s another issue for another day, haha.) I saw a really cool instagram post the other day that put to words what I’ve been feeling. The post talked about babies and their relational connections…babies, when they are born, don’t know who they are apart from their parents. In their minds they are attached to their mom and dad. I really believe that’s what God has been doing in my own heart this year. Teaching me how to burrow deep in his love, to have an identity anchored and secured in everything he is. Apart from him I can do nothing. I am his and he is mine. Something else that instagram post said was “I don’t care to outgrow this stage, where I am his and he is mine.” That has been my prayer. I really don’t have any other choice than to be dependent on everything Jesus is.

I need him, desperately.
So Jesus, please never let me grow up, even if that looks like shattering my expectations and causing dreams to die…it’s worth it. To abide in your love is my greatest joy and my deepest desires fulfilled.

(If you’re faithful to reading my blog and are getting sick of the “blah” posts, I really am sorry. I just try to write on walking with God. This is where I’m at in life and while I wish I could give you some feel good post, my life, currently is more of a sandpaper against your front row of teeth and my feel good posts are Jesus just being Jesus in the midst of the absurdity that is my life. He’s really good and really faithful and I am really expectant for that feel good post. It’s coming, I promise 🙂 )

The Undoing

For as long as I live, I will probably never forget the sound of the chunky, white, rocks shifting beneath my shoes as I walked into the refugee camp that I worked in in Greece. I will never forget the taste of the steaming hot Lipton tea burning the taste buds off of my tongue in 90 degree weather or the smell of the first RHU (refugee housing unit) that I walked in. I’ll for sure never ever forget the greetings I received from the tiny children that rushed me and my friends at the entrance of camp every day: “MY FRIEND, MY FRIEND, come, come, come!”I do not ever want to forget moments like that. 

The God-given, God-placed moments that tear you apart and oddly, put the broken pieces of you back together.

It was my first day in camp and I met the two people who would be the vessels in which God taught me the most. My first friend was in her 40’s and I will probably write about her soon. But my second friend was 8. She was the most beautiful, sassy, determined, and independent little girl I have ever met. This little one reminded me a lot of me. 🙂

I would skim through camp my whole shift looking for her. Most days, I found her…those were the best days. I would sit on a bench with her, under this tree that oddly enough provided a heavenly source of shade. She would talk to me in Arabic, and I would talk to her in English (I learned quite a bit of Arabic from her). We would giggle and tell each other how beautiful the other was and usually she would make me a rubber band bracelet or play with my hair. One day, she sectioned my hair off and put these tiny plastic rubber bands around these slivers of hair..right next to my scalp. Painful, yes. Worth it, absolutely. Another day she sat in my lap and colored a picture with paper on my chest and took the longest amount of time possible doing it because she thought that it was funny. She was free-spirited and hopeful and goofy and she reminded me who I was again, just by being who she was.

Coming into Greece, my heart was really hardened by life. If you follow my blog, you know that this year has been extremely hard, but this little girl was a treasure in the midst of the desert. Jesus used her in the most intimate way to allow me to feel safe to be vulnerable and soft again, to be goofy and belly laugh again, and most importantly, to sit in the midst of my life and my dreams and be so hopeful…regardless of the loss or heartache. She helped bring “me” back again. She was a refugee. She had lost everything and her little 8 year old life had been devastated by war. I related to her in more ways than one. Obviously my life is so blessed….but I learned that we all have loss and in one way or another we are all refugees looking for a place to land.

My time in Greece untangled my heart and allowed the fresh breath of God to touch me again. I came back undone in the sweetest way. God is a little sneaky…using an 8 year old refugee from Syria to bring me to the end of myself. But that’s okay, I’ll take it. It’s the sweetest way, full of the most laughs and tears and clumpy fingernail polish.

I’m forever changed, forever given to Jesus, and friends forever with Miriam.

Thanks, Miriam-for changing my life. Thanks, Jesus for being forever faithful.
**This is a small summary, tiny update, snippet of my trip. This blog post, by no means, encapsulates the entirety of what God did on the trip, nor what I learned in total…but for those of you who want to know more, contact me, I’d love to meet up with you. 🙂 **

C E L E B R A T E

To be honest, I’ve been trying to write this blog for a while, and can’t seem to find words to write it.

W R I T E R ‘ S B L O C K.

I don’t think it’s because I don’t have words, I think it’s because I’m in a process of learning to actually BELIEVE the words. But I felt like Jesus told me to write about it today, so I am. Sorry if it’s rambley or shambley (two words I don’t think are real), or if it doesn’t make much sense… I’m working on it, okay? Let’s just walk through this together.

I woke up this morning and Jesus, very clearly, told me to do what I wanted to do today. Which is actually pretty funny, because for the last 6-7 months, I haven’t been able to pinpoint a sliver of what I would prefer “to do.” So, I did what I used to enjoy doing..I sat at a quiet coffee shop in my hometown called “Fresh.”

Got to the counter. Had not a clue what I wanted to drink.
“Cait, what did you used to like?” I asked myself. My answer, chai tea latte with vanilla.

I sat in the coziest chair I could find and unpacked my books, Bible, journal, colored pens, and headphones. Then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks or an elephant on an air plane, the urge to just weep came over me. But I couldn’t weep, I was in public. So tears streamed down my face in the most graceful way I knew how. Again, I was at a loss. Although random tears in random places are more common to me than uncommon the last few months, these tears carried some weight. So I started chatting it up with my main man, Jesus.

It was there, in Fresh, sipping on my chai tea latte with  vanilla, cuddled up in the white rocking chair, that I unloaded what my heart has been holding onto for months. I’m not so sure why it happened today, but Jesus does. I think today was the first day that I was able to feel the pain and choose joy, choose celebration.

After about an hour and a half of spilling my guts to Jesus (discussing my future husband, my current diet, my upcoming trip to Greece, my discontentment, my disappointment, and my desire to be able to celebrate people fully, even in the midst of my pain), I did something that I’ve been terrified to do for a while: I let Jesus talk.

It was there, with my chai tea latte with vanilla, in the white rocking chair that I felt Jesus whisper:

“There’s room for you.”

I wasn’t so sure what it meant, so I sat and waited. Soaking in the truth that there’s room for me. Where? Not sure. Jesus, faithfully, continued.

“There’s room for you to be fully you, to laugh really loud, to cry deeply, to be where you are, how you are. I paid for your spot, I made it big enough. The boundary lines have fallen for you in pleasant places.”

It was in that moment that I realized I was carrying the weight of pain, disappointment, and discontentedness because I didn’t believe that there was room for me in Jesus’ heart. In my pride, I thought I was making room for others to be healed by not letting go of my garbage. How prideful. Jesus makes the room. He makes my friends hearts big enough to listen to me and to cry with me. He makes my family’s home big enough to house me for free. He makes my time long enough to get healed. He makes his love big enough to make me whole.

Jesus then said: “Go buy you some flowers. We are celebrating YOU, today.”

So just like that… my day of “do what you want” turned into “do what you want because I want you to feel seen and celebrated.”

He’s really good, y’all. He knows our hearts better than we do. And by golly, if Jesus tells you to buy yourself pink daisies, buy the daisies. There’s probably a part of your heart that needs it.

My heart needed to grieve and be seen, today. So obviously, I celebrated. 🙂

Messy Burgers

I sat in the line at the good ol’ Whataburger in Waco, Texas (for those non-Texans that read my blog: Whataburger is the staple fast food place of Texas), waiting for a meal that I ordered that was a little too big and a little bit too much money for what I had to spend. But after the month I’ve had, I did not really care. I sat in my car, cool air brushing my face, worship music drifting slowly into the background of my mind, and my mind racing with every situation going on in my life right now. The anxiety in my mind and deep sadness in my heart was probably canceling out any “Glory to God” that was being played over my speakers, but it made me feel better about myself. Don’t lie, you’ve done the same thing before.

Anyways, the car in front of me was taking exceptionally long this particular day and I just wanted to get home. I pulled up, debit card in hand, ready to pay entirely too much for my honey bbq chicken strip sandwich, fries, and drink that I would not even finish. I gave a half hearted smile to the girl at the window. She flung the biggest “Hello!” my way and asked, “Ma’am, did you happen to know the lady in front of you? Because she paid for your meal.” My response was “Are you serious?” followed by a flood of tears. Not the reaction she was looking for, but she continued treating me with an abundance of kindness. I cried all the way home and heard Jesus whisper to my heart over and over again: “Cait, there is grace upon grace upon grace for you.”

You see, “messy” is a kind word to describe the ongoing 2 year season I’m currently battling. Jesus has taught me SO much, but it has not been pretty or graceful. However, God began this last week teaching me about grace very, very practically. I’ve been living in this lie that messy seasons have to be pretty, graceful, kind, gentle, and incredibly quick and painless. But that’s not the definition of messy, or the expectation we should have on processes with God. Sure, there are the quick, painless, fun, pretty lessons that we get in life (Praise God!) But if we are honest, if I’m honest, sometimes it feels like life just stays messy. However, God has taught me that messy lives are what grace is for.

Grace cleans up our messes, cleans our hands, and whispers to our hearts, “You can do it.”

I have encountered the grace of God more in the last 2 weeks than I feel like I have in years. I know that’s not necessarily true, because HELLO, I need grace more than anyone. But I think that I’m just more aware of it. My eyes towards people’s situations have been softened. My heart towards myself has been softened. I think, if anything, because God has been so blatantly obvious about his grace towards me, I am seeing ways to extend grace to people.

I just know that where I am at in life, I am literally unable to do just about anything well, wholeheartedly, or joyfully…even though I try so hard every day. I cannot earn God’s approval at all…I cannot even fool myself into thinking I can do anything to earn the love of God. For the first time in my life, I am grasping the idea that failure invites grace, that wounds crave grace, and that Jesus willing gives an abundance of grace for me to make it.

Grace sets me up to win.

I hit the jackpot with that free Whataburger the other night. Jesus celebrated with me, and I went to bed feeling really really loved. I guess what the wrap up to this post is is this: Buy people Whataburger..you never know what they’re walking through, embrace grace–hug it like a teddy bear in the middle of a thunderstorm, and walk with people through the mess. It really is worth it.

There’s grace to make it, today.
No matter where you’re at in life.
Jesus is for you, cheering you on every step of the way.

An Open Letter to My Heart

Dear Little Heart,

I know it does not feel like this now, but the best is yet to come. In the middle of the loneliness and frustration, the best is coming. Within the loudest laughs and biggest celebrations, it can only get better from here. I know you ask “Will things ever get better?,” a lot, and they will. You just have to continually commit to following Jesus every step of the way.

You’ve been really tired, lately, little heart. Tired from the wear and tear of life. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not taking care of you. For not making your health my upmost priority. I’m sorry for trying to fit you into expectations of others and silly structures that you have no place in trying to mold to. I’m sorry for not properly dealing with grief and disappointment. You are valuable, little heart.

You are strong. The last year and half you have beaten strong and steady through tears, depression, breakthrough, hope, and laughter. You have provided what I need to survive. Thank you for not giving up when the pressure, anxiety, and excitement set in.

Oh, little heart. If only you could grasp the depth of the love which you are gently held. Jesus, gave it all to love you. There is grace for you. Grace to feel the depth of pain and gladness, joy and sorrow. I know that sometimes emotions hit you hard, but there is beauty in the process of sorting through them all. Thank you, oh heart, for feeling deeply..for not being afraid of emotions, but for standing strong and allowing Jesus to work through them.

I’m thankful for you. Thankful for your consistency. Thankful for the butterflies that I feel because of you when I’m on a date with Dustin or the flutter of excitement before going home to see my family. You are fun, heart.

Today is a new day. A day to draw a line in the sand. I vow, little heart, to begin taking care of you. I will do whatever it takes to get you healthy. To sort through your pain and your joy. I want to know you. I want to know what makes you  come alive and what stretches you. I want to know what you like and what makes you laugh, or what makes you mad and what makes you scream. I’ve forgotten who you are. I vow to know you, again. To know you well.

So here’s to the beginning, take two, a new season, whatever you’d like to call it, little heart. I’m your owner, Caitlin, it’s really nice to meet you. 🙂

 

Ruff Times

If there’s anything I’ve learned from having a puppy (yes, you read that right. I have a puppy.) it’s that I am TOTALLY not ready to be a mommy. My parents laugh at me because there are days that I love my puppy to death and others in which I want to cause his death! Cooper, my new puppy, has taught me a lot about life…and of course, about God.

Coop loves to play. He plays better than anyone (or dog) that I know. At night time it usually takes about an hour and a half of really hard fetch or “pull on the rope” to make him tired and ready to go to bed. He’s a big ball of energy stuck inside a tiny seven pound body. Sometimes I wonder what goes on inside of his head. He gets in trouble so much but also gets all of the belly rubs he wants. “Does she really love me?” “How much longer to I have to wait here before I get that treat?” “Ooooh yes, riiiiiiiiiiight there! Keep scratching, mom!” My favorite thought that I have thought Coop to have is when someone acts like they are going to throw the ball and they don’t…Coop takes off running, using all of his energy only to realize the ball he remembered chasing is nowhere to be found.

“Now, am I crazy? I know there is a ball around here somewhere. Just where is it? Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball.”

His cute face when he is lost doesn’t keep the ball lost long…usually the ball is only lost a couple of seconds before it flies over his head for him to fetch. The JOY he has. He’s made for fetch, made to wrestle and use all of his energy. Made for belly scratches and barking. I know, at the end of the day, he knows I love him…because every time I walk in the door, I am his favorite human.

11232280_10207088162984999_2785049573799441825_nCooper has taught me a lot about my relationship with God. I’m made for it. Made for the adventure and the love, to explore and learn. I thrive being every ounce of who God made me to be. But something that I’ve learned recently from being that mean person that tricks Coop into fetching after a ball that wasn’t thrown is that God does not play games with me. He does not call me to “play fetch” or leave a place simply as a BIIIIIG joke…to get a laugh. That’s something I’ve caught myself believing a lot recently. That God plays games with my heart and with my head. God is not lacking on entertainment..I provide that all by myself. What God is desiring from me is a fully surrendered heart that trusts that he’s not in relationship with me to tease me just to get a good belly laugh. He’s ultimately in relationship with me for his glory.

I’ve become really thankful for the sincerity in which Jesus pursues my heart. He knows what I need before I say a word and he is faithful, faithful, faithful to me. He’s a say what he means and means what he says God. Is he fun? Yes. But is he careless? No. With Coop, he always ends up with the ball, running back for another chance to fetch. With me, I’m learning that I get the best because there really isn’t such thing as too good to be true with Jesus. 

For that, I’m thankful, full of hope, and expectant.

Fine Lines

I’ve never been on a tightrope. I’ve always been intrigued by tightrope walkers, though. They steal your gaze as you sit in the crowded circus arenas and they make you gasp when they have even the slightest wobble in their walk. What if they fall? What if they make one slight misstep? Well, if that happens and they don’t have something safe underneath them to catch them, the consequences could be devastating. Serious injuries. Blood. Death.

I think that we, as humans, all understand and grasp the danger that is associated with tightrope walking. I do not think that anyone would voluntarily walk on a tightrope without harnesses attached and a soft landing underneath. But I do believe that sometimes we put ourselves on an invisible tight rope that we exhaust ourselves trying to cling on to and stay on top of. But this summer, I have learned that we don’t always have to cling to the tightrope..we are allowed to let go…because we have the safest place to fall…

{{a s e a o f g r a c e}}

You see, thanks to Jesus’ death on the cross there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1). We don’t have to put walking with God into the “tight rope walking paradigm.” Ever since I went to Northwest Africa, I have been stuck in this mindset that in order to have a thriving relationship with Jesus I have to walk this narrow line; I have to cling to Jesus so tightly that my knuckles turn white and when I get tired, I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and in my weariness, “get over it.” The tightrope paradigm is all about what I am capable of doing…not who God is.

That isn’t how it works. Walking a tightrope isn’t God’s heart for me! In my time with God over the last month or so, God has been giving me a picture of my letting go of a rope and plunging into the ocean–that’s the sea of grace I was talking about a few paragraphs up. Oh sweet grace. So in the process of letting go of performance, striving, and exhaustion in my walk with Jesus, I have learned to drink deeply of the rest and refreshment that is His grace. Oh the vast ocean that God, in his kindness, provides for me. So in drinking deeply of the grace that I have received, I am learning to enjoy the little things: jumping on trampolines, coffee at starbucks, sunflowers, songs I can jump around to, mashed potatoes.

It’s the little things in life that are refreshing me. It’s in the little things I love that God spoils me with. In my sin and my pain, in my  day to day life I am covered in Jesus’ grace.

It is in that grace that I am:
loved.
whole.
cherished.
healed.
righteous.
delighted in.

 

so today, I rest; breathing deeply, drinking deeply of sweet sweet grace.

 

The Thief Within.

The Bible says “Do not fear” 365 times. 
One for each day of the year.
The last two weeks I have very clearly missed that repetitive memo.

Vulnerability moment: 
For the last week and a half I have been consumed with sadness. Not just kind of sad, but like brink of depression sad. Don’t be dramatic, you say… my response, I’m not. A big part of my story with Jesus includes a two year time period where I was consumed with depression. I know depression. I hate depression. The lie that people are incapable of finding joy is probably the lie from the devil I hate the most. The Bible clearly talks about the fullness of joy found in the presence of God. Anyways, off my soap box, the last week I have cried more than I can count on my hands and I have felt absolutely drained and just blah. I didn’t want anything to do with asking God why I felt this way. Heck, I didn’t really even want to talk to God-period. But thank the Lord for community. Community that pushes me to the foot of the cross, community that challenges me to ask the tough questions, and community that loves me well despite my weariness and yuckiness.

It is that community that inspired me, and challenged me to sit and really ask God what was going on, because it was definitely a heart issue. So I asked God: What is going on? This sadness stemmed from years of anxiety that had deep roots within my soul. This anxiety had absolutely taken over my thought life and I had absolutely no idea. As I continued asking God questions, He revealed to me: I have been grieving. GRIEVING?! What in the world! I haven’t even lost anything or anyone. Why would I be grieving?

Insert a long pause. A long worship song. A bathroom break. A short conversation…..right about….HERE. 

After that long break I asked another really hard question, knowing that I needed answers and relief. So as I continued digging God showed me I had a deep seeded fear of losing my parents. You laugh. It’s a real fear of mine, losing my parents. Things started making sense, I was grieving the loss of two of the most important people in my life…and I hadn’t even lost them. It was my fear that was causing me to feel this way. The what ifs, the how would I respond, the crazy thoughts. All of those things lead back to this deep seeded fear that I didn’t even know existed until about a month and a half ago when I had a dream that my dad had died suddenly. Sad, huh? Yeah, my sadness was making sense. But something else happened in this processing session with my sweet King…

I realized I don’t know God as my protector. I’ve never really tried to discover that. God is my protector. He fights for me. He covers the paths I walk on. It wasn’t until the last two days that I have really started pressing into that truth. Regardless of my circumstances, God is with me like a mighty warrior. He protects me. He comforts me. He is my hiding place, my safety, my security. It wasn’t until I realized the joy found in allowing God to fight for me that I realized that I had a thief living within me…that thief’s name was fear….and as for him in this season…He isn’t welcome here. 

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire; you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..” -Isaiah 43: 1b-3