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Breathing in and Breathing Out

This morning I was thinking about the goodness of God and His timing. In light of being newly married to a man who compliments me in a ways I didn’t even know to dream about, timing is on my mind a lot. From the time Chris and I met but never said anything, through meeting after meeting, to our first conversation that I think started off with knee injuries and surgeries. To short messages and praying for and about each other, to falling in love before I even knew what was happening, we have seen God’s timing in action.

And as I write this in the midst of the shut down of almost everything and social distancing, God’s goodness in my life is so apparent in His timing with our wedding. As a self employed asthmatic who has lost her main job for the month of March, it would be hard for me not to be freaking out if I was on my own. I’m not going to lie, diving head first into relying on my husband to cover my March bills, which were from my life as a “me” and not a “we”, has been an interesting transition. Lest my posts make it sound like I am going through the pandemic like Snow White humming and walking outside as a blue bird lands on my outstretched pointer finger, even in all the goodness there have been mental battles to be fought. Even when we walk in the grace of God to the best of our ability, we still have to do the emotional work to live fully as a whole hearted person. So once again I have had to speak to the lie that tells me I need to earn my keep and the wound of “burden” has once again tried to imprint itself on my heart. But thankfully God has taught me to sit with Him and feel what I’m feeling and examine what is true and what is a lie. Working with kids the phrase “your emotions lie to you” is one I use often. This week, amidst the overwhelming goodness I have existed in, I have also had to battle the lies of the enemy of my soul. Lies that try to reopen wounds that My God has already healed. Lies that would try and get me to dive back into the “here we go again” of vocational uncertainty. They are subtle sneaky little lies that try and piggy back on the goodness that surrounds me. But praise God through His Word He has taught to to interrogate every thought holding on to the good ones and kicking out the wrong, hateful, distrustful thoughts. Like anything, the more we practice this the more it becomes a habit, and the more natural it becomes. I love that I am no longer in a place where I have to wrestle for hours, days, or even weeks with the lies that try and get me freaked out. Instead trusting that God has my back and my best interest in mind has often become as natural as inhaling the air that fills the room I’m sitting in. And when the enemy reminds me that I am an asthmatic who is at high risk of getting what is going around and reminds me that eight years ago I couldn’t get out of bed for two weeks because of pneumonia. When fear of that terrifying pain coming back tries to take up residence in even the tiniest corner of my thoughts, rejecting it usually feels as natural as exhaling the carbon dioxide from my lungs. In the last year people have been talking more and more about the levels of anxiety that most people face today. I love that I have heard sermon after sermon addressing it and one of my favorites was given by Louie Giglio last October. If you find yourself in the midst of everything going on and stress and anxiety are threatening to overtake you, know that I am praying for you today. This morning I a praying for all who come across this blog to learn to walk even deeper in how to inhale trust in The One Who Loves You Most and how to exhale the fear trying get to you to spiral. Not in a way that denies the existence of the anxiety or just stuffs and pretends that all is ok. I am reminded of Isaiah 6 that was written about three thousand years ago in a time of instability when kings often ruled with an iron fist. One of the few good kings, Uzziah, had died and Jeremiah the prophet found himself in a place of uncertainty and it was there that He saw the Lord. Faced with the greatness of God, he hit his knees and acknowledged his unworthiness to even be in the presence of The One Who Put The Stars Into Place, let alone be loved by Him. When we come face to face with the bigness of God, when we really take the time to acknowledge and ponder on His vastness, our smallness is alway made obvious. Ezekiel describes God as the having a throne so big it is being above the sky and destroys any box we have envisioned to try and define The Creator. He is big… bigger than our imagination can comprehend. But He is also loving. He is so in love with us that He made a way for us to always be in right relationship with Him through the Cross of Christ. Jesus loves us so much that He not only endured the pain of the cross, the beating that came before, the shame of being stripped naked and on display as He died… but then he was dead until the morning of the 3rd day. We have no idea what He endured during that time, but we do know it didn’t last. And we know that because of His love for us, knowing that we, that you, would be able to be in a real relationship with Him, He went through a pain and suffering we can’t begin to imagine. For those of us who have been followers of Christ for a while, unfortunately it’s too easy to forget to focus on His bigness and His goodness. For those who have never experienced the unconditional love of the One Who Numbers The Hairs On Your Head, it may seem too good to be true. This morning I am praying for all of us to experience, to walk in the fullness of being passionately loved by God. I am praying we all get an even deeper glimpse of His bigness to the point that like Isaiah we can no longer stand and any pride or arrogance fades away. And I am praying we all come into an even deeper understanding of His love. That we all have our breath taken away at the thought that the one who designed the pine tree and magnolia, designed us with even more care than He took to create the stars. I’m praying that as we sit and ponder the love of God we will see fear and anxiety for what it is. That we will all learn how to fight it even more deeply and we learn to trust our Perfect Father even more fully. I am praying peace over you this morning and a calm mind. I am praying that you will so clearly hear God reminding you that He knew you would find yourself here and that He is not taken off guard. He has you and will take care of you if you let Him. He has a plan for whatever is threatening to overtake you and wants to wow you with His attention to detail. The only way we can walk in the miraculous is to find ourselves in a place where we can’t come through for ourselves. And for many of us, the situation the world is in has put us in that place. Today I am praying that you will see God move miraculously in your circumstances in a way that leaves you in awe, even if you’re not quite sure you believe He exists or do not know what to call Him. He knows who He is and that He is The Great I Am, the One who is all we need Him to be and more.

And I’m praying all this in the perfect name of Jesus, amin!

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