One day closer to spring

One day closer to spring

Though the winter is long and the night is dark

There is still one thing we can remind our hearts,

We are one day closer to spring

We are one day closer to spring.

When the wind whips cold and the snow has grown old, but still the ground is hard as gold,

One thing remains, let our minds be told

We are one day closer to spring

We are one day closer to spring.

When the ice is thick and we try not to slip,

We slide around and even get frost nip

One flame remains, we will keep it lit,

We are one day closer to spring

We are one day closer to spring.

Though our faces still sting, each time we bring,

Ourselves outside, to go to anything,

To the truth we will cling, and this chorus we will sing:

We are one day closer to spring

We are one day closer to spring.

-Ella Young

My Hope Story- 3 Years Ago to Now

My Hope Story- 3 Years Ago to Now

If I looked at my life 3 years ago, at this time I was in the midst of chaos and panic. My new fiancé at the time had just told me he felt a block in his heart for me, on my birthday, which I felt was the worst possible timing.  We had experienced problems on and off, but always had hope that we would eventually work things out. We were both committed and loyal, yet often it seemed that we were trying to force it to work. The entire Christmas season was a roller coaster of emotions, something I had never experienced. The holidays (and my birthday) had always been a time full of love, security, hope, and generosity. That year, it seemed like my heart was being ripped out of me over and over again.

I wrote in my journal, “Why is life so hard? Why do I have to wallow in self pity like I do? Why can’t i be free and happy like I used to be? Why is it so complicated and hurtful?”

Later that year, I would go on to take a break, and eventually break off the engagement and relationship, after having exhausted all options of help and repair. It was one of the hardest and most weighty decisions I had ever made. I wrestled with fear of what others would think, say, or if I would ever be able to love again. I didn’t know if anyone would want to be with me if I had already called off an engagement with another guy. Yet I knew I could not continue to live the way things were going for another few months, let alone an entire lifetime. When I finally made the decision and followed through, it was like a weight was released from my shoulders. I finally felt like my free and happy self again, after so many months of despair.

Little did I know, was that in about 9 more months, I would experience more freedom, and eventually I would go on a date with the person who would be my husband- right around the same season where I felt it all first fall apart the year before. THEN, a year later, I would be marrying him. And now, another year later, and 3 years total after that desperate season, I am almost a year married, and finding it hard to believe that life can really be this good again.

I KNOW there will be depths yet to come (such is life), BUT I also KNOW God follows through on His promises. He is GOOD (ALL THE TIME), and will not leave me alone, even at the depths of the most confusing of moments. I know a breakup is not the most hopeless of moments, but as Victor Frankl says,

“… suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.”

What are you suffering through today? Can you remember a time when you had greater suffering? What about greater hope?

Can you imagine where your life could be just 1, 2, or 3 years from now? We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds our future.

There is HOPE!

Wisdom and trials

Wisdom and trials

James is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Over the years, I have had the privilege of doing a few in depth studies on the book, which have only grown my love. 

Recently, I was given a copy of the Voice translation of the Bible and decided to read James. 

One part in particular really stood out to me in a way that I had never been able to read it before. On asking for wisdom in chapter 1, this is what we are to do: 

The key is that your request be anchored by your single minded commitment to God. Those who depend on their own judgment are like those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind. Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue them or bring them anything. The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy and confused. 
James 1:6-8(Voice) 

I italicized the last sentence because that point screams loud and clear, that if you are not all in, if you are riding the fence, trying to please all parties, you will only be left dizzy and confused. In the verses before, James speaks of how trials produce patience in us, and make us more mature. We have the opportunity to ask God for wisdom and he will give to anyone who asks. BUT, the key is the single-minded commitment to God. God often uses our trials to get us to that point of complete surrender. 

James is not my favorite book because I love trials–I’m not sure if anyone loves them. However, I do love what trials produce. Maturity and completeness, patience and other godly characteristics that would not be there had it not been for a trial. 

That is why I am thankful for James, and I am thankful for trials. Because I am reminded to look at the complete picture and the end result, not just the moments of pain or sorrow. 

Grief

A poem I recently wrote for a friend who lost his wife.

For every moment remembered,
every heartfelt “I love you,”
all the days serving the Lord
and the times when you never got bored.
Your kingdom-sized dreams
of mansions side by side,
worshipping the king,
walking streets gold and wide.
You were truly best friends,
a dynamic duo.
And as your heart mends,
I pray God gives you hope.

There is more awaiting you,
all those tears will be gone.
Those dreams that you grew
are so very close,
Longer than you may like
but closer than you know,
just a little while longer,
and you will see that kingdom glow.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.