I Trust in You

O Lord, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God!
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:1, 4-5

Today I am thankful that I don’t have to have it all figured out. Several people encouraged me this weekend to remember that God will direct my steps. I don’t have to make the big decisions on my own. He is walking with me and leading me.

God knows what’s coming next and He will be there to guide me through all of it: the good, the bad, the messy, the difficult. I need to stop trying to control every detail and learn to trust in His perfect plan.

The road may not be what I expect, but in following His truth, I know He will lead me to where I’m meant to be.

Thank you Jesus for being a lamp unto my feet!

Goodness in the Land of the Living

My sweet sister-in-law reminded me this morning that it’s November. She posted a precious message of thanks on Facebook, marking the first day of “The Great Thank-Off” where you share something you’re thankful for everyday leading up to Thanksgiving.

(When my sister-in-law asked her 2 year old what he was thankful for this morning he said, “Jesus… in my life” – does that not make you tear up or what?!)

The reminder this morning pierced me at a moment of UN-thankfulness. It’s been a long week with frustrations appearing at every corner. I’m tired and burnt out. At this moment, I’m sitting on the bus trying to squeeze in some thoughts on my long commute home. And I’m overwhelmed with the sense that everything I’ve been upset about is relatively trivial.

I think it goes without saying this week that there is probably someone having a harder day than you (likely trudging through the day with no power and no running water). But this is not about making us feel guilty because of our emotions and reactions to the problems we encounter every day. Guilt solves nothing.

What if we tried changing our focus?

I ran across this psalm on my commute into work today:

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

To be completely honest, I posted it in defiance of how I was feeling. For some reason, I haven’t really been able to see that goodness lately.

But I know it’s there. I just need to shift my focus.

I love the book of Psalms because it’s really a prayer book. I’m pretty sure every emotion I’ve felt can be found in the Psalms. Praise, joy, and thankfulness are just a page way from sorrow, anger, and fear. Doesn’t life feel like that?

Instead of dwelling on everything that’s going wrong (and trust me, I know how tempting it is to want to wallow in the bad), I’d love to challenge you to focus on what’s going right this month.

It’s not that we shouldn’t acknowledge when we feel angry, frustrated or fearful – we are human and these are very real and natural emotions. But isn’t it too easy to fall into a rut of taking things for granted and focusing on what’s wrong in our lives?

This November, I’m committing to sharing something I’m thankful for and choosing a Psalm of celebration, joy or worship for each day. I want to acknowledge that I am seeing the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Let’s focus on the good and be thankful. Join me?

By the way, I’m thankful this November 1st for all the thankfulness I’ve already seen via social media today. It really lifts the heart to read what has blessed someone else. Thank YOU!

A Prophetic Perspective

A month or so before we got married, Tyler and I both had a strong sense that something big was ahead. We didn’t know what; it felt really vague. But we both felt it. Something was stirring. As the months went on, we thought it must be related to our professional careers or a big geographic move.

Around this time, my small group (of wonderful women in their 20s and 30s) was focusing on prayer and specifically learning to listen for God’s voice through prophetic images, words, etc. One night, we took turns praying for each other.

One of the rules in our small group was that you had to share whatever you saw, even if it seemed outrageous, because you never know how God might be speaking to someone through that image or word.

When it was my turn to be prayed for, I had a very vivid picture of a hot air balloon. Weird, right? It was sailing high above in a blue sky. I had no idea what it meant.

We finished praying and everyone started to share whether they had any images or words. There were a few very interesting images and then one that shocked me.

The woman sitting to my right began to share that she had this very vivid picture of a hot air balloon.

!!!

I could not believe that someone had the exact same (seemingly random) image as me.

When you get an image for someone, you’re supposed to ask God for more understanding of how that might apply to the person. A prophetic word is supposed to encourage, affirm or bring discernment. They are not omens or fortune telling. (Still sound crazy to you? email me!)

The woman who saw the hot air balloon said she felt like it was about Tyler and I being together in the basket of the balloon, high above the ground, and that it was possibly about gaining perspective.

At the time, I really had absolutely no idea what this meant. We weren’t even married yet and while I would end up changing to a different position at my current employer, we weren’t looking for huge career shifts just yet.

But 9 months later, I get it.

It hit me at church last Sunday during worship. Through this whole ordeal, Tyler and I have both felt that we have been carried above with a supernatural grace. Even today at Tyler’s post chemo appointment, the doctors and nurses said several times how we have handled this in a remarkable way with wisdom beyond our years.

But it isn’t because of who we are. We were just up in our balloon with God.

And sometimes we would look down and get scared. But others times, we would look down and say, “WOW.”

God has blessed us with a new perspective on life.

People have praised us for how we have handled this ordeal. Please don’t. Our only praise is that we have chosen to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Everything else comes from Him.

Thank you Jesus for affirming Your vision for our lives. As we come back to earth and to normal life, we pray that Your gift of perspective is something we share loudly and widely.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

Amen!