Writing Down the Whispers

I never claimed or promised to be a prolific blogger.  In fact, my tagline in Living Real magazine SAYS “… sometimes blogger,” but almost a year is quite a long time in between posts.  Here’s the thing: life gets crazy.  Words get thought and forgotten.  I imagine lots of things and, heaven knows, I say plenty, but it doesn’t all get logged right here.  Today though, in my journaling with the Lord, I felt prompted to write – really to share with you – what HE spoke to my heart.  So, there’s nothing super special about this day except that maybe what God whispered to my heart needs to be whispered to yours as well…

O Lord, this day and these feelings.  It started out “weird” and has progressed to that “sad” and “lonely” place I sometimes go. I could point to many things that may be the cause, but none of them seem to explain – completely – my sadness and this loneliness.  Thank you for your ever Presence and for the joy I know I have in You and will feel again… probably soon, if history repeats itself.  Thanks, God, for reminders to press on from all over the place – the radio, random Facebook posts, a friend’s wall art, and, of course, your very Word.

I know that when I pass though the waters – the deep spots in life, You are with me and when I pass through the rivers – the raging, stressful, unforeseeable, twisting times, they will not sweep over me.  I know that when I walk through the fire, I will not be burned.  And I know it is because YOU have paid my ransom and because no matter how sad or lonely life sometimes feels, I AM PRECIOUS. IN. YOUR. SIGHT.

I know that nothing can separate me from Your love: not trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger of sword… of course, not those things.  But NEITHER feelings of loneliness or sadness or a long TO DO List or piles of laundry or sassy kiddos or conflicts with the Hubs or chores or bills or work or ponderings or things I could have/should have/would have done differently.  NO.  NOTHING can separate me from You and from the love of Jesus.  In all these things, I am more than a conqueror because JESUS HIMSELF loves me.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons – the good nor the bad.  Neither the present nor the future – what I see right now nor what may lie around the next moment’s corner; nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation will be able to separate me from the love of God that is mine in Christ Jesus my Lord.  And even though it is quiet and I can’t quite explain my tears this morning, that makes me feel better.  I little less lonely and a lot less sad. 

I have quieted my soul before you, Father, and You, as always, have heard and answered my deepest need… even though I can’t quite articulate it.  I have put my trust in You and lift my soul up to You.  And You, in Your faithfulness and righteousness, have come to my relief to bring me word of Your unfailing love, to teach me, and to lead me on level ground.  In Your unfailing love, You silence my enemies… even my own faltering inner voice… and destroy all my foes.

You are God.  I, Your girl, look to You.  And, as always, You never disappoint.  Thank You, Jesus!  You have done great things!  I am filled with joy and I am surely not alone.

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Through Faith-Colored Glasses

The following post appeared as an article in the last issue of Living Real magazine.  Take a look and keep your eyes open for the next issue due out sometime in September.  (My article will look familiar to you if you have visited to the blog before!)  Many blessings and may you always see life through your own “faith-colored glasses”!

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  That’s what the Bible says; right there in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 1 – the very beginning of the Faith “Hall of Fame”.  Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see – at least with our physical eyes – is a basic element of the Christ-follower’s walk and yet sometimes I wonder if we understand what it really means.  If I was really sure of what I hope for and truly certain of what I do not see, I think my life would look completely different.  I think I would be absolutely fearless and bold, compassionate and kind to a grander degree and completely stress-free in the knowledge of God’s love and the security of His sovereignty – if I was REALLY sure… if I was really certain. 

I started pondering how what we see (or in the believers’ case, what we are sure and certain of) affects how we behave, this summer when I found myself in the optometrist’s office with both of my children.  They had some trouble with the standard eye exam at their well check-ups and, even though their pediatrician thought they were probably fine, he referred us to a specialist – someone who looks at children’s eyes all the time.  So, there I sat with my son and my daughter as the doctor examined their eyes.  My son walked away from the exam with glasses that he should wear all day long, but that he can really function without.  My daughter, Keppley, was a different story.

When the doctor dropped lenses over my own eyes to allow me to see what my baby girl was seeing, tears immediately threatened to fall – and absolutely would have if she had not been in my lap.   The “sharps container” on the wall that I had been instructed to focus on became an almost indiscernible, undefined blob of khaki and orange.  How in the world had my little girl wandered through life this way without my notice?  How did she make it through preschool – 5 days a week – and learn her alphabet, shapes, numbers and colors without being able to SEE? The rush of questions and concerns for my daughter came fast and hard as I fought to keep it together for her benefit.  I knew it wasn’t the end of the world.  I knew that glasses could correct her vision, but I just didn’t understand how I had missed it.  I didn’t understand how SHE had missed it.  I was sad that she had gone through so much of her short life, literally in a blur.  And that was all before we left the doctor’s office!  After a trip to Lens Crafters and an hour wait, both of my babies had brand new specs and Keppley’s life was transformed.

Her eyes were truly opened and it made all the difference.  She first saw with her “new eyes” in the main corridor of the mall: lights that used to be one big glow were now a multitude of tiny individual sparkles. Her wide eyes and huge grin told the whole story.  She sat silently staring out the window, smiling at the cars and trees and buildings we passed on the way home like she had never seen anything like them before.  And I guess she hadn’t.  I remember telling my husband that, to me, her voice even sounded different.  Over the next few days I noticed that she ran faster on the playground and was especially struck when she caught my eye from 50 feet away, flashed a brilliant smile and gave me a “thumbs up”.  She had never done that before.  It occurred to me that she had probably never noticed before that I was smiling at HER.  How sad that she had missed her Mommy smiling over her, simply enjoying the girl she was.  How sad… and yet we – as God’s children in Christ – miss it every day.

Without faith, life is a blur – just one big indiscernible, undefined existence that can be scary and hard to navigate.  Without faith, we are unsure and walk with trepidation, constantly worrying about what’s around the next corner and fretting over when we will run into something else.  We do the best we can and manage to muddle through, hopefully adjusting and picking up what we need along the way somehow.  And most of the time, no one else notices the wandering.  A lot of the time, we don’t even notice it ourselves.  But the spectacles of faith can transform our lives.

With faith in Jesus Christ, we can be sure and certain – even when we can’t see.  According to His Word, those who look to Him are radiant – like my beautiful girl when she first looked through those new glasses.  Faith transforms our wandering into wonder.  Our whole perspective can be different.  By faith, we can see clearly, live fearlessly and run boldly unencumbered and with complete abandon, taking Him at His word and trusting that He is with us.  In Christ, we are set free – to work and play; to serve and do all things for His glory.  By faith, we can be sure that God has us.  And we can be sure, according to His Word, that He delights in us.  Nothing makes Him happier than when we keep our eyes on Him, run full speed ahead and recognize that He has been smiling our way all along.  For surely, “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)