Sunday, August 30, 2009

Just a stone..

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
You know, sometimes I stop and wonder what God is thinking. I wonder what road He has me on, because my road map certainly did not show this as part of the itinerary. Other times, I come up to a fork in the road.... except it's a fork with like 8 different paths. And then I wish that He would just choose for me haha. Either way, this journey of life is really quite a bit harder than it looks.
And I have alot of learning to do. My dad told me today that he'd read that the most frequent command in the Bible was not to fear. Over and over, God told His people Do not fear, my children!! because He knew that life gets hard. He knew that we would be prone to be afraid and would have trouble trusting Him in the storms.
The Lord and I showed me again today that He is trustworthy. I really don't like trusting people. It means giving them my heart, letting them into my life. It means risking being disappointed, getting hurt. I have trouble trusting my life to God as well. Sometimes I feel like I'm holding on with 2 hands, straining to maintain control of my life, my future. But I am not in control. I have a sovereign God who is faithful, and who has a plan for my life. Even though I may not understand it.
I remembered a book I read where the author talked about a mosaic. She said that each season, each chapter of our lives is like a stone. Some of them are beautiful and radiant. Others are cracked, marred by trials. When we're in that part, all we see is that stone. We look at God with eyes full of confusion, unsure of why He chose this path for us.
But later on, as we look back at our lives, we see the mosaic. The stones fit together perfectly. Even the ugly ones fit in to complete the picture.
So when life is stormy and I am forced to hold onto God and trust Him with my life, I remember that this is just a stone, just a piece of the mosaic, a piece of the masterpiece that God is creating.

Faith without deeds...

"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do....... As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:14-19, 26

I am convicted. Again. I read this post on Katie's blog and sat and cried as I read her words. The need in this world is SO GREAT. And my selfishness and fear is huge as well. I look at Katie's life and part of my heart cries out Yes Lord THAT is what I desire for my life. And another part of heart says that someday I can help. Someone else will do this work. WHY?!! Why do I sit comfortably here in my life, going from place to place, spending money here and there. Why do I wait for someday or sometime?!!

"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." I read the statistics, I feel Katie's sorrow, passion, and brokeness radiating off the computer screen, and I read this verse and ask myself what it means. How am I to live this out? I'm actually scared to put this post on my blog because then it's out there. I'm acknowledging that I need to do more. I need to step out of my comfort zone and be the hands and feet of Jesus right where I'm at. I'm disgusted with my selfish heart. I'm ashamed to see all the opportunities to serve and give that I've passed up simply because it would require some small sacrifice on my part.

But that's not the end....

I have a God who loves the orphan and widow more than I ever can. I have a God who loves me more than anyone ever will. I have a God who offers mercy and forgiveness more than I could ever ask for. I am a work in progress, a piece of work being constantly refined by the Master's hands.

"....being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. " Philippians 1:6

This is my hope- that God will redeem those times that I've chosen selfishly and that the next time I'm presented with a chance to serve, to give, to live out my faith I will joyfully choose to be a blessing. After all my Jesus has done for me, how could I choose any other way??

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pray for this Sweet Family!

One of my favorite blogs that I read posted and asked for prayer. This sweet family has been through absolutely everything this year- their home burned down, the dad became critically ill this year after a missions trip, their daughter has a brain tumor, and now their sweet 8 yr-old Ch*na girl may never come home.

This is a summary of their situation from their blog post:

"It is a long story, which I cannot go into, but due to circumstances that were completely out of our control we have not been able to file our paperwork with immigration. (It is near done, but not quite.)
This morning, while grocery shopping I received a phone call from our agency. They had just received word that Ch*na was troubled by the length of time it has taken for our paperwork to get to Immigration, thus they are withdrawing their acceptance of us as Jubilee's parents. Meaning, we no longer have permission from Ch*na to adopt Jubilee.
I asked our agency what do we do now and they said, "We don't know. Ch*na has never done this before." Of course it hasn't.

We need a mountain moved, a miracle to happen and great favor to be issued. We are asking God to move on the Ch*nese Government and rescind that decision and allow us to proceed - we are about 2 days from ready to send it.
Hence, we turn to the Almighty-God of the Universe, who we refer to as the Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God....He is the ONLY one able to move this mountain.
Would any of you be willing to pray and/or fast with us tomorrow, Thursday, August 26, 2009? Please pray for Jubilee's protection as well. There is no doubt that things are going on in the supernatural.
PS Please ask any prayer warrior or prayer chain to pray - please? And feel free to post it on your blog."

Oh how my heart is aching for this family. I totally know what it is like to be absolutely in love with a girl thousands of miles away- and to be trapped by government laws. But I also know that our God is powerful, mighty, and mountain-moving. So will you join me in prayer for this little girl?!

"The LORD your God is with you,

he is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

he will quiet you with his love,

he will rejoice over you with singing."

Zepheniah 3:17


Main Entry: in·de·scrib·able
Pronunciation: \ˌin-di-ˈskrī-bə-bəl\
Function: adjective
Date: 1751
1 : that cannot be described
2 : surpassing description
Even with every word in my vocabulary and every thought from my heart, I still am unable to give God all the glory He is due. Indescribable- this is our God!!! I can't seem to put words to it today because He is too great to be summarized in earthly terms. He is far greater and far more worthy of any praise that I can give Him.
I am ever so thankful that I can rest in a God who's attributes and character are without fault. It is a blessing to be able to trust in His plan for my life and not worry about tommorow. I know that He has placed me in this day, this moment, this place for a reason. And I don't need to ask Him what He's doing. I don't need to worry about what's going to happen next. Our Indescribable, loving, faithful God has a plan. And today, I praise Him for that.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. -Isaiah 40:28-29

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." - Psalm 9:10

Monday, August 24, 2009

My little boys..

I have a fabulous new babysitting job for the most wonderful family EVER. Their mommy babysat for me when I was little so it's fun to be babysitting for her kids. Today, their older boy went to a neighbor's house for awhile. The baby was in a smiley mood so I did a little mini photo session. I am already on my way to being the photographer mom and I'm only 17 lol!!
I LOVE these kids so much and I've only been doing this for a week. I want to spend every day with cute kids. Can I please skip college, get married, and be a mommy?? :)

I Choose JOY

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 5:11

You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 19:8

Praise be to the LORD,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Psalm 26:6-8

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Psalm 33:1

I will praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy
when I sing praise to you—
I, whom you have redeemed.
Psalm 71:22-23

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:1-3

True JOY comes straight from the heart of God. It is a gift that He gives us- the ability to be joyful always. I've had the song "Holy is the Lord" by Chris Tomlin in my heart today and have just been reminded that the Lord is truly my joy and delight.

Tricia McCary Rhodes says, "God did not make man for duty or drudgery or even ordinariness. He created Him for joy. Joy is our jubilant response to the presence of the living God who has made His home within our souls."

Is that not beautiful?? I long for my life to be an expression of joy, a response to the presence of the living God within me. I long to delight in my Savior, for Him to be the only one that brings me joy and contentment regardless of how life is going and what bumps are in the road ahead.

Father, you are the Giver of life, and the Creator of JOY. You are a Holy God, a faithful Provider, an outpouring of more mercy and love than I can comprehend. Please help me to respond with joy each and every day. Help me to delight in You alone, Jesus.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


My heart is sad...
I miss this beautiful country.

I miss the precious people.
I miss this precious girl.
I keep replaying in my mind the day I said goodbye. I wonder if Ornoria is still sad, if there's anyone there to give her the hugs she so desperately longs for. The thought of her feeling alone breaks my heart.

Today I feel the missing piece of my heart that is in Guatemala. And it makes me sad.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another list......

Okay y'all, you know me and my lists....

I started a list of goals about 3 weeks ago that I have for myself for this coming school year. Somehow it becomes more motivating if I post it on here, even though none of you really want to see this list as it's really quite boring. But you can still bug me about it once in awhile to make sure I'm doing it, okay? :)

Put forth my FULL effort in school. Learn as much as I can and try my very best!

Continue my devotionals and Bible memorization the entire year. The first thing that goes when I get busy is my prayer life and my time in the Word. I NEED this time if I'm going to be effective in ministry.

Take advantage of the leadership opportunities I've been given and let God shape me through these.

Disciple some younger girls

Grow my friendships and be persistant in pursuing and strengthening them.

Use my Spanish in the community (I'm praying for God to provide opportunities for this!)

Make time to minister, serve, and just listen to people. My excuse of being "too busy" takes over far too frequently.

Keep up my blog. My goal is one serious post a week, all you sweet bloggy friends who have kept with me through my sporadic blogging!

Stay close with friends I know who have graduated and are going away.
You got lots of brownie points if you stuck with me through this whole list lol :)

Goodbye Summer

Summer is over and the school year has started.

The first day of the school year was absolutely fabulous. I have been blessed with a GREAT babysitting job with 2 kids i absolutely LOVE. And I'm enrolled in FANTASTIC Spanish class and I'm SO excited to be learning, listening, and speaking in Spanish again!!

I am PRAISING God that it went well, and I am hopeful that this year is going to be a great one.

If we had stayed with what I thought was the plan, I would be a freshman in college this year, since I was going to graduate a year early.

But God had other plans. And even now, less than a year after we decided for me to graduate at the usual time, I see that His plan was better.

This year will have some unique challenges and lessons, but I know that He has things to teach me.

I'm excited to learn and grow, both in school and in the knowledge of my Savior.

So on that note, goodbye summer. I learned many many things, discovered many things about myself, found out that I'm not a huge fan of working 5 days a week during summer break lol, and was presented with experiences that both grew and shook me, but it was good. The season of summer has gone, and it's time for a new season.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


While at the tearoom, we browsed their adorable store. There was an entire wall of PINK GIRLY ADORABLE things. I immediately saw the precious pink dress and thought of Claudia, wishing she was here so I could give her the delight of dressing up in pretty things and tell her what a beautiful princess she is. Then I thought of the other little girls at the orphanage. I told my mom how I could just see them squealing over all of the girly things in this store. My mind kept wandering as I pondered all of the million little girls who live in orphanages who are deprived daily and my heart grieves for them.

Today, as I try to comprehend this world, and wrestle over why so many children are without families, I cling to the hope that every little girl is a daughter of the King, a Princess. He holds them in His arms and dances with delight over them though they have no earthly father to do so. He sings with joy when He watches them and holds their precious faces in His hands, He sees each tear that they cry, hears each whisper of their heart.

Father, what a beautiful thing that I can call you that. Thank you for Your saving grace, your adoption of me as your daughter. I am so thankful that I am Yours. I am so thankful that each neglected child is Yours, that You have claimed them as Your own from the beginning of time. I wish I could take every orphan, every hurting child into my home. My heart is breaking with each thought that I have of them. There are too many, this problem too huge for me- but I KNOW that it is not too big for You. I trust in You, Jesus, that You hear their cries, that You hear my cry for mercy on these children. You have greater things planned, if only we seek your face and trust You. What You ordain is good and perfect and your promises are true!

Tea Room!!

Yesterday morning Kristen, her mom, my mom, and I went to a tea room together in a nearby town. It was an adorable little house covered in vines (is anyone else humming the Madeline song now?!). They had transformed the house into this store, and the tables were placed amongst the store. It was fun to get all dressed up (they give you tiaras to wear once you get there lol) and to experence something like this!!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 14, 2009


This girl is irresistable. And I am SO jealous that bunny is getting kisses and not me!!
My mentor and I are finishing up Captivating and this week's chapter was on mothers and daughters. Eldredge says, "As large as the role is that our mothers have played, the word "mother" is more powerful when used as a verb than a noun. All women are not mothers, but all women are called to mother. To mother is to nurture, to train, to educate, to rear. In doing this, women partner with Christ in the vital mission of bringing forth life.....We birth life in others by inviting them into deeper realms of healing, to deeper walks with God, to deeper intimacy with Jesus. A woman is not less of a woman because she is not a wife or has not physically born a child. The heart and life of a woman is much more vast than that."
The work book asked, "Who have you mothered? How??" One of the first people that came to mind was my little Claudia. Though I've spent only one month total with her out of her almost 7 years of life, I feel as though I have mothered this child in a way. I feel that way about all of the children at the orphanage. When I go in and hold their tiny bodies, sing to them, and pray over them I feel as though they are all children of my heart. But this little girl holds a very special place, and I'll always think of her as being someone who I invested in as a motherly role. I would give absolutely anything to hold her hands, kiss her cheeks, and hear her call me mama again. Maybe someday that will happen. But if not, despite all the heartbreak over this sweet girl, I am thankful for the days I had with her, to give her the love she so desperately desires.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's Beautiful

by Eleventy Seven

I wish that You would tell me how

You know me well and want to be together

Fallen short and faded out

But You keep making gardens in this desert
Despite the grace that I dismissed

Forgiveness was the catalyst

To penetrate my heart with what is true

It's beautiful You can turn mistakes to miracles

The way that You still love me after all

It's beautiful

Redeem the years I've thrown away

I'm ready to make good on what I've wasted

I'm asking You to shape my heart

I want to be Your work of art

'Cause when You change me

And make me more like You

It's beautiful

You can turn mistakes to miracles

The way that You still love me after all

It's beautiful

I heard this song on the radio yesterday and I've kept thinking about it. I've been reading Prodigal God by Tim Kellar recently, and our High School Sunday School class has also been on this book the past few weeks. I realized that the two concepts kind of go together, so we'll see if I can turn my thoughts into coherent sentences! :)

While looking at the story of the prodigal son in Sunday School (this parable can be found in Luke 15), we saw that there are really 2 sons that make up this story. The younger son, who returns to his father after taking his inheritance early and wasting it, and the elder son, who faithfully works for his father year after year despite his younger brother's absence. If you read the story you'll find that each of the 2 sons struggle with different sins. The younger son outwardly disobeys. He selfishly takes the money early, leaving his brother and father to care for the farm, and spends all of it unwisely. He wanted things his way, in his time. At the end of the story we see him come back, humbly asking his father for forgiveness. Nearly everyother time I've read this story I haven't even thought about the older brother very much. This man faithfully works for his father, year after year. He is terribly angry with his dad when the younger brother was not only accepted back but welcomed back with great joy and celebration. The older brother was bitter towards his father for taking him back, and for expecting the remaining inheritance to again be split to accomodate the younger son. The older brother works for the ultimate reward of receiving his inheritance, and obeys solely to please his father, not out of love and devotion. After reading the story from this perspective, I realized that I am an "older brother!"

I've started looking at my heart and realize just how many times I obey because I want to be seen as a "good person," not because I desire to please the Lord. I realize how much I value significance in life. I want people to like me, admire me, and be impressed by me. I often turn have a "good works" perspective and when things don't work out in life I often wonder, 'What did I do to make this happen?' There's a little piece of me that won't let go control, won't accept the fact that I never have and never will do anything to make myself worthy of salvation. I am forgive and freed from all of these things BECAUSE Christ came and died for me! BECAUSE HE died for my sins, the Lord can do a beautiful work in my life and turn these mistakes to miracles. He can fulfill His purpose in me despite the fact that i am a prideful, self-righteous "older brother."

So after thinking of all these things, I heard the above song on the radio and I thought it summed up all my thoughts quite nicely. I am asking the Lord to shape my heart, because I do want to be His work of art. I want Him to delight in me, and I want to delight in obeying Him because I love Him with everything that's in me, not because I want to gain brownie points in someone's eyes. I know this will be a lifetime lesson and challenge, not something that I think about one day and achieve the next!! But that's the beauty of it, right? He knows that I won't get it after one day, and He's willing to extend me the grace and mercy as I work on it. I'm a piece of art, and I praise Him for the work He continues to do each and everyday.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Family Reunion- Part 1

We had a fantastic family reunion last week. TONS of laughter. LOTS of yummy food. And a FUN annual Family Olympics.

Glimpses of His Face

Have you ever been stopped by beauty? Beauty that reflects the majesty and glory of God? Something in creation that makes you stop and think, "My God is amazingly fantabulously incredible!" When I saw the sunset the other night I was stopped by its incredible beauty (I was still able to to take lots of pictures though lol). God has placed things on this earth that reflects His irresistible beauty. I feel like He hung that sunset just for me. Just as the sun rises and sets every morning without fail, God is faithful to His promises. He is constant, unchanging, and irrestibly beautiful, just as the sunset is. I have trouble summing up the words, because our God is truly indescribable.

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 8:1,3,4

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
Psalm 84:11

Let the name of the LORD be praised,
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.
The LORD is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Psalm 113:2-4

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Waiting Child

Well, my heart has been broken into pieces once again. This time through a gripping, heartwrenching, yet hope-filled book called The Waiting Child by Cindy Champnella. We're at my aunt's house for a family reunion (yes i will post pics eventually... i'm so behind!) and so I'd brought this book along. The story absolutely captured me and stirred up so many memories and emotions. I've avoided reading any books on orphans because it just upsets me. But I'd decided I wanted to finish this one, and I am glad I did even though it made my heart actually hurt.

The story is of an American family who adopt this precious little girl, Jaclyn, from China. When they go, they discover that she has been caring for this tiny little boy at her orphanage. After returning home, she talks of him constantly. For years, at the age of 3, she pleads and cries out to God to bring "her baby," Lee, home to America. Before long her family has started to fall in love with this little boy and they pursue the adoption of him. The love that Jaclyn had for this little boy was absolutely beautiful. The ache in her heart, the numerous tears, the prayers cried out to God reminded me of mine for Claudia. The hole in Jaclyn's heart that could only be filled with her little boy reminded me of the ever-present hole that is waiting for my Guatemala girl. Jaclyn's family was faced with the discouraging news that Lee would likely not be available for adoption. God moved many mountains to eventually bring him home from China.

Jaclyn's unwavering faith that God would bring Lee home was an encouragement to me to keep praying and fighting for Claudia. Reading the happy story of his homecoming was almost too much to read, knowing that we may never get this with my sweet girl.

Reading the horrible stories of Jaclyn's time in the orphanage made the fire in my heart burn brighter for the plight of the orphans. Whenever my passion for it begins to dull, the Lord ALWAYS sends something my way to remind me. Remind me of reality. Remind me of these precious children. Remind me of my purpose. Remind me of His call for my life.

So thank you, Cindy Champnella, for sharing your sweet story of Jaclyn. It made me smile, cry, and wish I'd never read it. Yet I know it's these stories that change me for the better, so I'm thankful I read it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What's Next???

Many of you have been asking "What's next for your family??" So I thought I'd blog about what our plan is for those of you who haven't heard yet!

At the moment, we are pursuing a foster care license. We've had our first meeting with the case worker, have scheduled TB tests, fingerprinting, and classes for my parents. At this point, we do not know where this license will lead. We may just be a "transition" family, or it could end up in an adoption. If we get siblings, the boy will get our spare bedroom and the girl will be in mine. I am trusting God that He will give me the grace that I need to be a good "big sister" to whatever girl He chooses to entrust our family with. I already feel overwhelmed by the enormous responsibility having foster kids will be, especially if we havea little girl who looks up to me. However, despite all the unknowns and my anxiety of what kind of challenges we'll face, I am excited to see what this season will hold. Regardless, I know that we are heeding the Call, and that is what I desire for my life.


I've been reading through the Psalms for my devotional every night and have found myself greatly challenged, motivated, and reminded.

I've been challenged.... to make my life pleasing to the Lord.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on His law he meditates day and night.
He is likea tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked!! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
THerefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish."
Psalm 1

I've been encouraged....

"Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken."
Psalm 15

I've been reminded...of how absolutely amazing God is.

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Youhave set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise .
Because of your enemies, to silence the offender and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place, what is man mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the havenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet;
all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth."
Psalm 8

Why is it that I always underestimate the power of God?? When I read these Psalms I think to myself, "Why do I EVER have disbelief?? Why do I EVER doubt God's power?? He is amazing and more gracious than I will ever be able to understand.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Journey

I've always loved the concept of life being a story or a journey. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because I love reading about adventures and stories where God captures someone's heart and takes them to places they never thought or dreamed they would live. I've always admired those people's stories and thought that it was so amazing that they would heed the call God gives them. I've prayed for years that the Lord would grab my heart in some way and that I would follow Him with it. Well, He has certainly grabbed my heart. He used 143 million children to do it and I am changed forever because of it. However, now I have a choice to make. I'm a senior in high school, 17, and at a place in my life where there are many forks in the road to my future. And I have been struck with fear. The closer we as Christians get to Christ and His call, the more the enemy is going to shower us with doubts, fears, and lies. I have experienced this so much the past few months, and found my fear to be energy-zapping and joy-sapping (if those are words haha). Thankfully, the Lord knew that we would be faced with fear throughout life, and so He lovingly put many verses in the Word to quiet our hearts of fear and doubt. Here are just a few:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again." (Exodus 14:13)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) (American Standard Version)

The Lord is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:6)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

So after reading these, I realized just how much I'd let my fear take hold of me. It is freeing to release fear and doubt and just let the joy of the Lord live in my heart. I'm not going to pretend that I still don't have moments where I get scared of making the wrong decision. I won't tell you that I still don't ask God why situations are the way they are. I won't pretend that I still don't wonder if things will get better or if they will work out. Because in life, there are no guarentees. Many times as Christians, I think that we can fall into a belief that "God is faithful, He will make this situation work out. He will help me, this will get better." Could he make it better? Yes. Will he make it better? I don't know. We will go through trials and regardless of how hard we pray, it may be in God's sovereign will for us to endure. I think of my Claudia girl constantly, and just turn to the Lord and plead with Him to release her. I'm scared that may never happen, but I know that the Lord is the stronghold of our lives and He has her in His hands. Regardless of what hardships or trials, decisions or unknowns, the Lord has clearly stated that we are not to cower down in fear. He has more than enough grace and strength to carry us through, and if we ask for wisdom He will give it. Today, I'm going to set my eyes on Christ and turn my ears away from the lies and doubts whispered in my ears. Today, I want to continue on this journey called life and not be stopped in the middle of the road because of a street sign named fear. When I look back on the story God is weaving, I don't want to look back on the chapter named fear and see all that I missed out on. Today, I want to start pressing on towards heeding the call God has given me, even though I'm a little scared about where He might take me. Will you join me?
*Photo by Alyssa Garvin