Light and Life

I’ve written and deleted this blog three times. Because I could say so many things, but none of it feels like what I want to say.

And so I sat here and I closed my eyes and breathed deeply and tried to silence my brain, waiting for the truest words to float to the surface of my heart.

And then they did. Breathed somewhere within me: “I trust Him to take care of me.”

And if words were a color, these were a dusty rose. And if words were an emotion, these were relief. And if words were an action, these were rest. And I knew, “Yes. THAT is what I want to say today.”

To all that I don’t understand, to all within me that is screaming its hurt, I don’t have answers or solutions. All I have is this: “He is taking care of me.” And those words gently shush the panic and pain and anxiety within me. All I have is that–“He is taking care of me.”–and that’s enough.

Because it means He knows.

“He hears you, anxiety. He sees you, pain. And He cares. He is for me.”

He is taking care of me. All of me. My panic and my joy, my laughter and my tears, my hopes and struggles, my wounds, my family, and my spiritual growth. He is the holder of my future and my past and my today. He is taking care of me.

And so I will raise my arms to heaven and praise Him for what He’s given, and how He’s tending to my heart, and for who He is.

*

The other day I read something that stood out to me- “God leaves the light on for us.”

Light. Oh, how I love that word.

Back before my family dissolved, I remembered feeling really hurt when I’d get home at night and the porch light wasn’t on. It felt like they didn’t care if I came home or not, like they weren’t waiting for me or looking forward to seeing me.

“I ALWAYS leave the porch light on for you when I’m home!” I told them. I told them it hurt my feelings. But nothing changed. I’d always come home to a light-less porch, fumbling in the dark to get the door unlocked, calling out a “Hi!” because if I didn’t say it, no one else would either.

But He leaves the light on for me.

He wants me. Waits for me. Welcomes me.

He leaves the light on for me. For us.

He also leaves the light on for us in the reliable rising of the sun. The sun, which warms us, and gives life, and tells us it’s a new day and we can begin again. Each new day shouts of fresh hope. It screams the promise that He isn’t through yet- this is not the end; we’re all still being held safe and secure in His holy hands.

He leaves the light on for us in Jesus too- the one who came to shine light in our darkness, to clothe us in truth, to give us life.

And scripture, which helps me arm myself against the lies and attacks of the enemy. Scripture, the living God-breathed Word.

Light guides us and directs us and helps us see and keeps us from stumbling.

In all of those ways, He leaves the light on.

And in all those ways, light fuels life within us. Light and life- the two go hand-in-hand.

And when my cats come running when I get home, or Mr. T cranes his head to watch me walk from one room to the next, or Penny leaps up excitedly when I come to open her cage.
Or in “I love you” text messages.
Or warm embraces.
Or kind smiles.
Through all those things, He is saying, “I care.” Through them, He is leaving the light on for me. Filling me with life.

And the more time I spend soaking up the light, the more I be able to radiate it myself- to go like a flame into this world which so desperately needs to see through the darkness to what’s true.

Hands to the sky, I will praise Him for hope.

Hope even when I don’t feel it.

Because regardless of what I feel from one moment to the next, I know God is love.

And He is taking care of me.

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On My Knees

It has been a long week.

I have, on more than one occasion, fallen to my knees and wept.

Because sometimes there’s nothing left to do.

And maybe that’s the lesson in all of this- it always comes back to falling to my knees before the Lord. And that’s where it should begin as well–on my knees before the One Who Understands–whether joy and gladness are the dominant emotions, or sorrow and grief.

One by one, all the healthy things I relied on to get through the day are being stripped away. Maybe not forever, but for now. And Satan is asking me, “Are you going to do the things you used to do? What about those unhealthy ways you used to cope? Those are still options.”

And so I fall to my knees.

Because they aren’t options anymore. I refuse to let them be options. But I can’t do it on my own. I can’t willpower my way through sorrow. I have to present myself as a broken mess to the God who created me.

I need His love to fall down on me and be More Than Enough. I need His Truth to resonate in my brain and heart and within the walls of my house as I speak it aloud, often through tears, because it’s beautiful and it’s painful and it’s hard an it’s good.

His breath gave me life, and His breath alone will sustain me.

I wonder if eventually the things I’m laying down before Him, surrendering to His will, will stop hurting. If I continue to lay them at the foot of the cross, will I eventually stop picking them up? Will I eventually stop looking over at them to see whether or not God’s breathing life into them? Will my heart eventually stop feeling so broken over the things I am confessing I want and can’t control?

And that’s my prayer- that surrendering my entire life to the Lord, laying it all down to gain Him, will feel, indeed, like GAIN and not like loss.

All of it–my pain, my joy, my hope, my desires–they are safe only in Him. And if I wasn’t forced to depend on Him right now for my every breath and for the continued beating of my heart and for the ability to smile at the rising sun, I’d be chasing after empty things. I’d be looking to find life in things created, when I should be looking to find it in the Creator alone.

He made my heart. He placed me into this life. He watched it fall apart. He knows where I’m wounded, where I’m growing strong, what I need, and how to set me free.

On my knees is the safest place to be.

Hiding in the shadow of His wings.

When Sadness Becomes Your God

I laughed at work today. The kind of laugh you laugh when something is funny but you’re also kind of embarrassed and so you can’t stop laughing.

The office manager had come into my office this morning with donuts and he asked, “Would you like a diet doughnut?”

But that wasn’t what I heard.

And so I asked him, “…Did you ask if I wanted to buy a doughnut?”

And he laughed and told me what he had actually said, and I laughed too.

And I know it’s silly and not even that funny, but later while I was driving I thought about that and I sat there in my car at a red light and smiled. Alone.

And then I realized I was smiling, and how incredible that I have enough joy within me to smile- and not just to smile, but to smile for me.

No one else was around. I wasn’t smiling to keep up appearances or make other people feel good and I wasn’t even smiling about something that someone else said or did. I was smiling, without even realizing it, because the joy within me bubbled up and a smile is just a human’s automatic reaction to feeling your heart fill with lightness.

I was alone. And I was smiling.

And usually when I’m alone I struggle. I battle all sort of thoughts and feeling and it’s fierce and exhausting and scary and I have to live that time in a constant inward posture of being on my knees at the cross.

But that moment alone in my car was easy.

I was surprised by my smile, yes, but even more than that, I was surprised to find that I was actually just enjoying my own company.

And I turned to Jesus and said, “Do you see this, Lord? I’m smiling!” And I know He was smiling too because yes, of course He saw.

And yesterday on my walk, I cried. I walked and walked and at one point I felt my chin begin to shake and my eyes filled with tears and I just let it happen. Because I was safe. It was safe to feel, walking alone down that neighborhood street as the sun set, with Truth coming through my earbuds and into my soul. It was safe. And important.

And I got home and I was tired. It wasn’t even 9:00 yet, but I showered and went to my room and I slept. I slept really well.

And that’s life, isn’t it? To make space for yourself to exist as a person with physical and emotional and spiritual needs, and not just as a doer- the one responsible for getting out of bed in the morning to an alarm and making it through your to-do list for the day.

I’m having to consciously take care of myself in this season. I don’t have another choice. I have to over and over again sit my heart down and say, “You matter.”

My job matters, yes, but that’s an easy fact to accept. The world won’t try to convince you that your job doesn’t matter because your job is how you get paid and keep a roof over your head. And I’m blessed to have my job matter for much deeper reasons than that. But still, believing my job matters isn’t the struggle because my job is where I am a doer. And doers, productivity, those things always count as far as society is concerned.

It’s the heart stuff, the feelings and experiences that the world shrugs at. Because it’s there that you are just you, not as a doer but as a human being.

And if you wait for the world to say, “Yes, that thing you experienced? It matters! And the things you’re feeling? They matter too!” you might be waiting a long time.

And even if you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life to say those things matter, as I am, having someone to validate your pain is only one of the steps in healing it.

And there’s danger in that, too, I’ve come to learn. Wanting people to validate your pain isn’t a bad thing, I don’t think, but it can become a hiding place. A source of comfort. And when that happens, you keep running back for the reminder that it mattered.

And that makes people tired. And it makes them sad because they love you and they don’t want you to get stuck in that place of self-pity, of needing them to take care of you. And so at some point you have to tell yourself that it mattered, it MATTERS, but other things matter as well.

And that’s when the Lord mercifully will open your eyes to Joy.

It’s not entirely up to me to know how to balance Joy and Sadness, because He is a good Father. And indeed, He is my Father. I am an adult and I am a child, His child. And I don’t always know what’s best for me or how to cope. But He does. He seems to know how much Sadness I can take, and when I keep my eyes open and my heart soft, He also surprises me with Joy. Joy rushes in like a Labrador Retriever puppy.

And Sadness? It used to feel like a heavy wool blanket, but not anymore. Sadness, when it arrives, sits down beside me and places a hand on my knee, offering me a small measure of comfort even in the midst of its presence. With its hand on my knee, it reminds me, “I’m not here to hurt you.”

Sadness? It’s work. It’s spiritual warfare, and healing the brokenness within me, and grieving what was lost and what isn’t and what may never be. It’s work. And if I try to stuff it down and ignore it, or if I run to other people and grasp onto them like a drowning person, pulling them down too, then I’m missing the lesson in the sadness.

Sometimes Sadness requires professional help or medication, yes. And we DO need people. But ultimately, our sadness is between us and the Lord. We have to learn to sit with it rather than run from it or hide beneath it in surrender.

I’ve used that word a lot lately- surrender. And oh, what a mistake I’ve made (and still struggle not to make) when I’ve surrendered to anything other than the Lord- when I’ve surrender to Sadness, or Fear, or my hopes, or other people. How many times I’ve exalted a thing above the Lord.

It’s so imperative, not just because He is Lord, but also for our own well-being, that we keep Jesus on the throne. It is to Him that we must surrender.

And when Sadness comes and the Lord is on the throne, it doesn’t come as a blanket. When I let the Lord use my sadness, when I trust Him with it, Sadness almost comes as a friend. Gentle. Tender. Apologetic. It exists for a reason, after all, and it’s my job to allow it to sit down beside me when it comes.

It’s much easier to sit side-by-side with Sadness than to allow it to cover me like a blanket. And that’s what happens when you don’t make room for Sadness to sit down when it arrives. It becomes a wool blanket.

At first it comes uninvited, and you struggle to crawl out from beneath it, but you can’t. And so you give up. And it’s easy, tempting even, to say, “Okay. Come. And I’ll hide under here because nothing is fair and I can’t fix it and I quit.” Because Sadness is on the throne now and you can’t see anything but the darkness or feel anything but the weight of it on top of you.

One way or another, the matters of your heart will demand your attention.

But if you listen. If you remember that you’re Someone’s child and that your Father is the Ruler and Creator of all, you’ll hear the Lord gently beckon, “Bring that to me.”

For me, Sadness comes with most force when I’m alone with my heart, not being my Doer self, and without anyone to say that my heart, or that I, matter. And I have to tell Sadness, “Yes, you can come, but my Lord is still on the throne, so have a seat beside me please. I’m not going to hide beneath you, curled up, bowed down to you as if you’re bigger than my God.”

And then I have to sit my heart down, me and Sadness side-by-side and Joy panting at my feet–not demanding my attention but still there, present, breathing–and I have to tell my heart, “Yes, we know. It hurts. And it’s going to take time to feel better. Let’s go for a walk. Let’s smile at the rising moon and the setting sun and breathe deeply. And if you need to cry, if you need to talk about what you’re feeling, that’s okay. The Lord will listen. We’ll all listen. We’re not afraid of big emotions or circumstances beyond our control because the Lord will be there with us, rising the moon and setting the sun and reminding us that He’s bigger than anything. He’s bigger than Sadness and Circumstances and He is the author of Joy. And He’s bigger than you, too, Heart. In this world we’re a tangle of emotions and thoughts and it’s hard, but it won’t always be this hard. And we don’t have to be afraid. When it’s hard, we just have to admit it, accept it, and surrender it to the Lord for Whom nothing is hard.”

I am my Father’s child.

And I am the parent of my heart.

I am both child and adult.

I am Sadness and I am Joy.

And that’s okay.

Questions And Answers

Sometimes I feel like my list of what I don’t know is so much longer than my list of what I do know. Maybe there’s power in accepting that to be true, not just for me, but for anyone alive. Maybe it’s when we think we have things figured out that we end up in trouble.

I’m trying to stay in the moment. Amidst this season of not knowing, I am trying to soak up what I do know–what is good–and hand the rest to God under the assurance that He sees hope where I see question marks.

And He keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are focused on Him.

Anything that tries to rob me of my peace right now, I hand to my Jesus. I’ll do the hard stuff- I’ll do the work, learn the lessons, and grow. But I can do all of that, I can hurt and cry, without having it rob me of my peace or my hope. As long as I keep giving it to Him and as long as, when I close my eyes, I allow myself to picture His face and not my perceived (or actual) problems.

Jesus is with me
and I’m His child
and He knows what He’s doing.

I don’t have to give in to fear or despair or panic because no matter what comes my way, no matter what consequences I might have to endure, I won’t be doing it on my own. I can trust all of my question marks with the God who loves me.

*

There’s a lot that isn’t marred by consequences right now, too. There’s a lot that is just GOOD. (Praise Jesus!)

When someone hugs me or laughs with me, I don’t question it. I don’t wonder what they’re thinking or try to evaluate the fragility of the good thing before me. I just embrace it. I hug back. I let the laughter cause me to throw my head back. And I thank the Lord that, even though there’s a lot that is broken, that isn’t.

Tonight I played on a playground. I got dizzy on a spinning toy and played on swings and went down slides, and when the sprinklers came on, I ran through them laughing for at least a half an hour until I collapsed, soaking wet, on the grass. There’s a lot I don’t know, but I know that God watched me play tonight and he was smiling. Not everything is broken. The Lord is sustaining me.

Life is a gift.

*

I keep having nightmares. I think my subconscious is trying to process the trauma and tragedy (and miracles!) of the past month.

I had a dream I was in Sudan and the military was storming into the building where I was hiding because they were going to shoot anyone who was white. I was laying face-down on the ground with Sudanese people and I was praying for a miracle. I was praying my life would be spared. And I felt the boot of a military man step on my back, and I knew any second he was going to shoot me, and I pivoted. In a last-ditch effort to stay alive, I moved to face him and beg him not to shoot me. And I woke up mid-pivot. I woke up flinging myself from my stomach to my back and begging for my life.

I also had a dream I was in Hawaii and I really wanted to swim. The water was blue and warm and I was dying to jump in, but I was scared of sharks. Everyone was assuring me that I’d be fine, that people swim in Hawaii all the time without getting attacked by sharks, but I was too scared. And I felt so frustrated with myself because I had this opportunity presented to me to do something fun–something life-giving–and I was too scared of what could go wrong.

And I dreamed I was somewhere, I don’t know where, but I think I was with people from church, and the floor kept giving out. The foundation of the place where we were was precarious, and you couldn’t tell if where you were about to step would be solid or if it would collapse beneath you and threaten to pull you down into the murky water below. Everyone else seemed to know where to step, but I didn’t, and so I was asking for help. They knew better than I how to navigate the unstable floor, and even as the building continued to fall down and crumble around us, they didn’t panic. I had no choice but to surrender and let them help guide me to a place of safety. I just had to step and hope.

*

I am standing firm in truth.

I am embracing (out of necessity) humility.

And I am surrendering (also out of necessity) all to God.

I am done trying to force my life and relationships look or feel a certain way. I am breathing through the hard stuff and finding that surrender brings peace. When I surrender what I cannot control (and accept that I cannot control it!) to our loving God, I can let go of trying to force things to be different from what they are.

God has a good plan. I don’t have to be afraid.

I am still Someone’s child.

And so, rather than trying to control things and battle the inevitable resulting panic, I am making obedience my focus instead. I will stand firm in truth. That I CAN do.

And I will leave the healing and heart-work to God.

It’s all so hard. But at least my focus is finally right- not on trying to fix things (myself, relationships, my life) that are beyond my ability to fix, but on loving the Lord and taking Him at His Word.

*

I had another dream. I was writing on a whiteboard for a class, writing the numbers 1 through 10 in preparing to make a list. I was going to survey the class and ask them to volunteer what God’s been doing in their lives. The first thing I wrote, however, which isn’t really even an answer to the question I was supposed to be asking, was “receive”.

I woke up after writing that on the board, and I suspect that was God’s message to me. Receive.

He has so much He wants to do, I just have to be willing to receive, to walk this through, even when it’s hard, and to trust that He sees more than I do- He sees the good that will come from all of the pain. He can use this for good in my life, and maybe even in the lives of the people I’ve hurt. That is my prayer.

Lord, prepare my heart to hear from You. Help me to obey. Help me to receive whatever you have for me.

*

This week I keep hearing and reading that freedom in our lives is tied to giving God proper authority. Where God reigns in our lives, we can claim freedom. I want to allow, once again, God to to be Lord of every area of my life.

*

A quote:

“‘How do  you see me, God?’ isn’t a question we really need to ask when the world treats us as we feel we deserve.”

Everything that’s broken? It’s forcing me to run to God. To get His opinion. To let Him hold me. To accept His loving guidance.

I’m actually grateful for that.

I’m sad for the brokenness, but grateful for how the Lord is using it.

*

I’m so, so grateful for all the things that aren’t broken. They scream to me that God is big and He loves me, and He desires to give me good gifts even when I’ve really, really messed up.

Everything that’s still in tact, everything that is effortlessly good, it’s a miracle. A hug from the Father who loves me fiercely and is going to see me through this.

I am thankful for:
Being home.
My church.
Love- even “tough love”.
That God will never, ever leave me.
The ability to learn.
The ability to cry.
My pets.
Children.
Hugs.
Glennon.
A job, a house, and a car. And wifi. 😉
That my needs are met.
That I don’t have to hold anything together.
Laughter.

*

Also, this blog post is beautiful. (Click!)

His

For the first time in a while, I opened up the Instagram app on my phone tonight. I posted quotes and pictures and things that have brought comfort to my soul over the last few days. And then I scrolled through the most recent pictures other people have posted. I only made it to picture five before I couldn’t scroll any further. I deleted the pictures I had just posted and I closed the app.

This time I’m in, it’s fragile and tender and sacred. And I need to protect that by keeping a firm boundary between the life I was living and where I’m at now. I will return to Instagram someday, but right now is a holy time. A painful time, but one in which the Lord’s breath is the very air I’m breathing, and to interrupt this time with hashtags and social media and “likes” feels wrong.

This is a holy time.

This last week has been perhaps the most traumatic one of my life. I don’t know when or how I’ll ever process everything. And that’s the beauty of this time, as well: I am not trying to figure it out. I am not resisting the “not knowing”. I am not resisting anything at all. Instead, I am trying to maintain a state of being completely surrendered to the Lord. I am trusting Him with all of it- with the broken relationships, with the brokenness within me, with my hopes and fears.

For once, my focus is right. It isn’t on others- trying to make them love me, constantly fearing the loss of that love, and subconsciously believing that their love will somehow save me. My focus isn’t on fixing myself- looking at who I was and who I want to be and who I am now. And my focus isn’t on fixing my life- panicking over my lack of solutions and labeling parts of my life as “un-fixable”.

Rather, my focus is on the Lord. I am, to the best of my ability, spending my days with my face nestled against His chest, memorizing the beat of His heart.

This is a holy, sacred time.

Real life will resume, but right now I’m fragile, newborn. I need to carve aside this time to be His. I need to assert that this is an important time and that what I’ve lived through the past week is significant, and then I need to dedicate this time to Him. And I need to use this time to allow God to permanently imprint on me, to tattoo on my heart, that truth- that I belong to Him.

Apart from the love of the Lord, there is nothing else I can count on to be unchanging. And contrary to what I used to think, that doesn’t have to be a sad or scary thought because I know who my Father is and He is GOOD. He provides. And hallelujah that, no matter what life may bring, I am always going to be beloved, understood, and delighted in! My heartache and victories and desires will always, always matter.

There is nowhere else I can go to find solid ground for my feet or the unfailing love I crave. And that’s not scary or sad either. Rather, it’s beautiful because it means I don’t have to seek love or security. I don’t have to walk around wide-eyed and desperate and grasping, begging things that aren’t God to please promise me they will be the reliable, unchanging love and security I need. I am going to be a bottomless pit of need that no one can ever fill unless I realize that what I need is found first an foremost in my Lord and Savior. And again, that’s beautiful because it means that life isn’t a scavenger hunt for the things that my soul craves. Rather, all I need is found in Him alone and He is right here, always with me, beside me, within me.

Even if everything else turns to ash, I will be His and He will be mine forever and ever.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Lord, teach me.

This is a holy, hard, tearful, beautiful, painful, sacred time.

Taking In Truth Like Vitamins

1. It isn’t wrong or weak to need a safe place.

“[My daughter needs a] safe place to know that she is in the middle of those who love her. She needs a safe place to hear her mother’s heart for her and that we in this home are FOR her. That we will fight for her. She needs to know that she matters more than the rest of it. More than the boys who bug her at school, more than the crazy feelings in her head, more than the difficulty of being nine. More than her frustration. She matters more than all of it. And we parents, when did we become grown up enough to be in charge of any of this? Sometimes we need a safe place too. Sometimes we all need a safe place. We need to be carried. I’ve found myself at a place in the last few months when I’ve needed to be carried, and when I’m finally there, I realize what a hard place that is. It’s humbling, it’s painful, and it’s true. Sometimes I need someone to say, ‘Stand up for yourself,’ and ‘You can do this; you have this.’ But sometimes I need someone to gently lift me and carry me because there is nothing left. Let us be a people who are carriers of one another. Let us look with intention around us to find those who need to be lifted and held rather than scolded, and then Lord give us the strength to carry. And when it is we who need to be carried, let us have those around us who can do it.”

 

2. We aren’t meant to do it alone.

“Because the way out [of a dark place] is a daily, moment to moment choice, and one I continue to struggle to make. But the hope is real and the God of it bigger and stronger than anything. Every lie that says we are alone is rooted in alienation from God that happened long ago with a tragic choice that shattered a perfect world. Loneliness has been a part of every life since, but God again and again speaks something greater. He speaks it in Deuteronomy 31 and Jeremiah 31 and Psalm 23. Ultimately, He speaks it through the perfect love displayed in His Son. Our trust in this love binds us forever to God in a way that enfolds us in His heartbeat as it becomes ours. The beauty, my friends, of every bit of loneliness, especially the most intense, is that it drives us to the Source of our hope. Our hope is anchored in God and His promises. As we believe this is our truest reality, we will overcome. As we trust the deeper love of God, we find the strength to step into community. True community feeds true community. Every step we take to be ourselves, to love others and let them love us brings us out of isolation and closer to our real Home. The lies of loneliness and isolation lose their power. We choose to trust God’s love is as real as He is. We choose to trust His love in others and read that post, listen to that story and open our hearts to the Truth. And, when we are ready, we share ours too. We embrace the God of hope who binds our wounds in the ties of communion and community.”

 

3. It’s okay to be a mess.

“You don’t need to have it all together. You don’t need to almost have it all together, either. In fact, it’s absolutely 100% OK if you’re a wreck some days. Because you weren’t created to have it all together this side of heaven. Read Psalm 139. Let each word pour over your worn and broken pieces until you believe that you were placed in this world at this time by the One who does have it all together … by the Almighty hand of God who cannot make mistakes.”

 

4. We are called to love, even when it’s scary.

“God doesn’t call us to fit in, be popular, or be accepted by the world around us. While it’s wonderful to feel that sense of connection and love when it’s offered in return, we are called to be set apart and even glaringly different. Even when we experience being mocked or gossiped about or hurt by community, He asks us to remember who we are and why we are here, to press through that fear to love people anyway. The vulnerability of putting ourselves out there to share life, connect, and be in relationship with others, in spite of our weakness or painful experiences, is a part of the risk we take as a Christ follower to care about and impact the world. In being a willing follower of Christ I’ve offered myself up to serve Him in the world in whatever He asks of me. He already knows me, He knows the risk. But He still asks me to get up and out the door to show His love. He reminds me every day to open that door, to invite others in to my home. He offers me that opportunity to be vulnerable and connect with the world. He nudges me to offer time to serve my church. He asks me to reach out to others in friendship or even for help. It is hard to press through insecurities and discouragement to head out in search of community. But we are called to do it anyway. To be a fully devoted follower of Christ, we have to be willing to surrender the preoccupation with our needs, our weakness, our agenda, and our own insecurities so we can remember our purpose to show love to the world and rest in our identity found in Christ.

 

5. Love is never wrong.

“[It doesn’t matter how we connect, but WHO is connecting us.] We serve a God who brings us together in deeper ways than what can be defined for geography or proximity. He forms bonds between our hearts and souls that transcend the factual details of our lives. So let’s chat on phones. And click on computers. And share our hearts over coffee. Whatever it takes to find and keep community. Jesus clearly showed us we’re to do whatever it takes to reach the people we care about–even if it means stepping outside our comfort zones. He didn’t say, ‘Connect with me on my terms.’ He said, ‘Wherever you are, I will come to you.’ We have been sought out by the God of love. And now it’s our turn. Who is God asking you to love today and where can you find them? Your answer to that question is your mission field. Do whatever it takes to be there.

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