Embrace it!

Photo credit: Aaron Peck 

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.

James 1:2-4

I cannot adequately explain the love and joy I have for my Heavenly Father. Right now, I am so incredibly overwhelmed.  My heart is overflowing and the words are pouring out in floods, leaving my fingers to attempt to keep up with what I want to say.

My family has dealt with its fair share of struggles. I saw my children harmed and felt incredible anger and sometimes hatred toward those in my life.   I fumbled over my faith and doubted God.  I made huge mistakes which left me feeling God could never love me or forgive me.  I listened to the lies of religious people who preached a gospel that was far from the truth of God’s word.  I allowed those words to impact my choices instead of searching God out on my own. Things happened that made me question God’s plan, leaving me scared, alone and empty but through it all I learned so much.  

Today I know these things to be true:

God is awesome!  His love is unfailing and unconditional.  His grace is sufficient.  His strength is all that I need.  His mercies are new every morning.
I have learned that with every sunrise and sunset, God IS in control of EVERYTHING! 

I have learned that tomorrow is not something I ever have to worry about again because He is already there.   He knows the outcome of every situation and that EVERYTHING is going to be OK!  

Nothing has happened that His plan did not include.  He is surprised by nothing that has taken place even when I am speechless at the absurdity of the ignorance of humanity.  

He knows the choices we all will make and already has a plan set into motion as to how each will be resolved in a way that He will get all glory, honor and praise.  He is AMAZING that way because He IS God!!

There are so many who complain about their issues in this life. I am guilty.  

So many who do not get their way or the answer to a prayer they are searching for and they are left to doubt the love of God.  If we are not getting our way, it must be because God is a mean God who does not love us. I am guilty of such thinking. 

But it is not true!  It is because of His indescribable love that you are NOT getting what you want because it is not what is best for you in this moment. 

Until you reach a place where the only thing you cannot live without is Jesus, you will never be able to appreciate anything else in this world.  

This is my experience. Not something I have read in a Bible but something I have experienced. 

I have tasted the love and joy of my Father and I do NOT ever want to be without it.  EVER. 

I prayed and asked Him for this kind of experience and He allowed me to experience the trials and tribulations needed in order to bring me to this place.  Truly, I would not have chosen this path for myself but He knew what it would take to “break” my will so that I could know Him in a more intimate way.  He knew what I needed.  HE allowed me to make my own choices and mistakes but He loved me through it all and used each wrong turn in the road as a way to draw me closer to Him.  

It is indescribable the journey I have taken but I discovered more about God and life in the past five years of my life than I did the thirty-three before.  I would not change where I have been. I would not change the experiences I have gone through because without each of them, I would have never met the Jesus I know today.

My continued prayer is that God will use me. He will use my story.  He will allow me the honor of sharing His name, His love and His faithfulness in ways that I could have never imagined.  I want to make known the name above all names to those who have never heard His name or to those who need to be reminded.  I want to show people that there is so much more to life than those wants that steal their joy and rob them of the true blessings that God has waiting for them.  God has given me more than I could have ever dreamed possible and  I want to live a life that reflects what it truly means to follow Christ! All I am is YOURS!!

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