All of this COVID-19 stuff is affecting us each differently, bringing up a range of emotions from indifference to panic. But I think regardless of what we're feeling today, we could all use some comfort. I hope this post is a reminder that in the midst of it all there is still rest and peace to be found.
Oftentimes as a writer I find myself blanking as I stare at my computer, trying to muster up some words to write. Funny enough, oftentimes in life I find myself blanking when I try to talk of God's goodness or faithfulness. This feels embarrassing to admit, but it's true, and maybe you've done the same thing?
In a beautiful way, the birth of this church has been one of the most tangible ways I have seen God's faithfulness to us. But, if I'm honest, I struggle to see God's faithfulness in every area of my life, and I have a feeling I'm not alone in this.
When it comes to my walk with God, most of my doubts and spiritual struggles come down to the question "Am I really believing that God is who he says he is?" This question seems to come up again and again as I struggle through the ups and downs of life.
I get it. The happy-go-lucky posts might get more views. The fluffy, easy posts might garner more likes. But oftentimes the happy and the fluffy are masking what's really going on. And when it comes down to it, I'm not really sure that's what people actually want to read.
A guest post by Myra Dempsey... "She stomps snow off her boots; an audible shiver escapes her lips as she hangs her coat. Mallory glances again at the photo as she passes. A beautiful beach sunset. Some days when she sees it, the emotions of last summer’s vacation swell quickly. The picturesque moments of the trip overshadowed by the fear of her brother dying soon..."
I've come to wonder...what does my incessant striving say about what I believe about myself? About the Gospel? What does your striving say about you? Where can we find rest?
Am I the only one who has a hard time accepting it when God says "no" to me? Am I the only one who grits my teeth in frustration when God's response to my prayer for a good thing is "wait"? Am I the only one who feels forgotten by God when something hard happens in my life?
In a way that I can only attribute to the power and sanctifying work of the Spirit, my faith has become less blind understanding, less knowledge of seminary-ingrained truths, and more real, concrete, deeply-rooted-in-my-soul knowledge of God.
As believers, we must write as one who will give an account for every word we speak (and write). At the same time, there is grace when we don't get it right. We must embrace this tension, writing with fear and trembling while leaning into the abundant grace of God.
Maybe it’s the season I’m in now, but life feels especially uncomfortable lately. As much as I try to fight for joy, discontentment seems to continually rear its ugly head in my heart. It feels like the things I am praying and striving for most, God has chosen to keep just out of reach...
We are scared of failing. Scared of imperfection and - moreso - of letting people see the ways we don't quite meet the standards we've set for ourselves. But, you see...in the most beautiful way, imperfection is an invitation.
I'm really excited about these books. Several of them were highly recommended by friends and they did not disappoint! One might even be my favorite book I've read this year...
As I consider my own treasured desires and dreams, my heart longs for God to tell me that I can keep them. That I can wrap them up in my hands and hold them tightly. That I can count on the assurance that these hopes will come to pass, that these gifts will stay in my hands forever…
But is that ever promised?
Has God promised to keep me safe? To keep my reputation clear and untarnished? Has he promised me children and a home and financial stability? To make my hopes and dreams come to fruition?
Brief reviews of the books I read in the month of April! This month I decided to spice it up and add some variety to my reading, so while I still read a few spiritual formation books, I added in some fiction (yay!) and a book on the craft of writing.