Even now. Even here.

The following is a declaration of faith – the start to a prayer you can pray when things are difficult. I have learned that even in the waiting, wishing, and hoping, and even in the pain, confusion, and chaos, the Lord is with us.

Even now. Even here.

I will abide, even now. I will trust you, even now. I will believe, even now. Because you are working. You never grow weak or weary.

I will pray and seek you, even now. I know that you are leading me by your Holy Spirit, and shedding light onto my path. At every turn, you are with me. In everything, you are right beside me. When the heights are higher than I can climb, you sustain me.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
    He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    able to tread upon the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

So even here, I will praise you. Even here, I will bless your name. I trust that you will teach me and show me your best way. I can face my fears, because you are with me.

There is nothing you do not know, and nothing escapes your eye.

I will bless the Lord who guides me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
Psalm 16:7-9

 

Believe it

Sometimes in the morning, before our day gets started, we need to be reminded of a very impactful truth: God loves us.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

In Micah 6:8 we are told what is good and what the Lord requires of us. He says to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

He doesn’t plan disaster for us. He plans good things, and to give us a future and a hope. He doesn’t ask for the world from us, only to do what is right, love mercy, and walk respectfully with him.

What does that mean for today?

It means that God cares about your day today. Believe it.

It means that he desires good things for you. Stop running away.

It means that we have a choice whether or not to do the right thing. Pay attention.

It means that we are required to offer mercy. Soften your heart.

It means we need to admire the Lord and hold him in high esteem. Be a student of him.

We can get distracted and disengaged quickly. So take it a little slower today. Be in the moment. Don’t rush. Be present with the Lord. Keep your heart open to his voice. He will direct your steps.

Why?

Because he loves you.

 

 

Please don’t kill me in the process

I was going back through some of my old journal entries, and came upon an entry from last June, right after our anniversary. This was the start of realizing that Luke and I needed to seek help to get our marriage back on track.

It was a very painful time.

We would have a few bad nights, reconcile, have a good few days, only to plummet further down the next time. This pattern made us realize that we needed to seek out help no matter how long that “good” stretch went. There were clearly things going on under the surface that we didn’t know how to handle.

Reading that journal entry brought it all back.

The morning of this journal entry I had felt like God told me to camp in his presence. So I did. And in that place I told him what was on my heart. I wrote, search me and know me. You’ve already started a work in me, so finish it to completion. Keep digging and refining me. Please just don’t kill me in the process.

I stopped reading for a second and closed my eyes…remembering. That’s exactly how I felt at that time…do your work, whatever it takes. But I’m going to need your strength to get through it.

To look back on this now is a testimony to my own heart. I laid myself down and opened every piece of my heart to the Lord. “Let your will be done. Do what you need.” I didn’t want to seek out counseling…it felt like admitting defeat. It scared me. Even though we were in that tough place, I loved my husband dearly and I hated to admit that I needed help.

Submitting to the Lord goes against our sinful hearts and human nature. It’s engaging in a war of spirit against flesh. But the result of submitting to the Lord brings life to our souls in a way that we never could have expected.

When we humble ourselves and submit to the Lord, that is when restoration begins. We found marriage counselors through our church and they walked us through biblical counseling. Through them, the Lord shed light on lies we were believing and replaced them with truths. He revealed our pride to us and began to teach us humility. He taught us how to forgive. He showed us how to love.

I look at our relationship now, and see that he has once again proven himself merciful and faithful. He has redeemed and restored and made something new and beautiful out of something that was hurting and broken. He has turned our mourning into joyful dancing. What started out as the lowest point in our marriage has turned into our greatest testimony. It became our springboard into a new life that we would not have apart from God. I can’t stop talking about how faithful he has been to us!

God is faithful to those who put their trust in him. He will redeem and restore. Your current trial isn’t the end. Have faith in the goodness of God, and he will direct your steps. So hold on a little tighter today and take it to the Lord. He has the answer.

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
Psalm 30:11-12 NLT