What To Do While You Wait

Gift, woman in the sunlight

Tucked away deep within are the desires and longings of my heart and yours. Tucked away and unseen by others yet God sees them as we wait for them to take on a glorious shape of their own and come out of hiding. Sometimes our desires come to fruition in a way that can only mean that God himself etched them on our hearts. So what do you do while you wait on God-dreams and desires? You seek first the kingdom and have faith that the things added to you will come straight from the hand of God in His perfect timing, not yours.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1 KJV)

It’s the things unseen that I long to watch unfold before me. So I release the things tucked away in my heart and give them over to a God who orders my steps. I know that the waiting is the sweetest gift and beautiful things happen in my heart when I seek His face first and ask Him to rearrange my priorities.

It’s the whispered prayer and the tears you cry wrapped in loneliness. It’s the bended knee in surrender and the hands unclenched releasing hope up to God in prayer as runny mascara makes a path down your face. It’s the hope in things unseen and somehow God gives us little glimpses of the things unseen and joy knowing that the pursuit of seeking His face first will unleash hope in us that will go the distance as we wait. And wait. And then wait some more.

I seek Him first and then whatever He chooses to add is a welcomed addition. A blessing follows when I forfeit my will and agenda to become more. Nothing is greater than seeking God’s face knowing that His will is to bless His children.

Tucked away and sometimes dormant are the desires deep within, they are not forgotten, nor dead. They are simply waiting to take glorious shape into more than you could have ever hoped for. It’s not lost so don’t give up. When God breathes life into something the miraculous happens.

Today I want to seek His face first.

Today I want to love deeper and not expect anything return.

Today I want to pursue peace with wild abandon and trust God with all my heart.

Today I want to let God divinely interrupt my list of things to do and rest in Him. 

Today I want nothing more than to please God instead of people. 

Today I will seek God first and whatever He wants to add is exactly what I need.

Praying for you today as you wait,

Jennifer

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” (Ps 37:4-7a)

 

The Brave Ones

Sometimes warriors wear high heels and tiaras and carry flowers.

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Last week Jennifer and I had the honor of getting to help celebrate the accomplishments of some of our favorite young women at Saving Grace.

As we stood on that stage and asked them to join us one by one as we read simple short paragraphs about their journey my eyes filled with tears over and over again. Girls who were abandoned, abused, neglected, homeless, in debt, pregnant, unloved, alone… one by one they got out of their seats and walked to the front of the room looking beautiful. Each one of them faced a crowd of people with their heads high and smiles on their faces. Why? Because the words that were used to define them no longer applied. They are no longer abandoned, unloved, or alone. No longer filled with anger, or shame, or fear. Love does that.

Love changes us. Slowly but surely, over time, love covers over the multitude of sins that have hardened our injured hearts.

It’s not easy being loved, being changed. It’s hard stuff. The stuff that causes tears and fits of anger and hurtful words to be hurled at the ones trying so hard just to love us. When love is a foreign concept it causes smart, beautiful young women to attack and withdraw. It takes a lot of patience to love a broken girl.

Sometimes finding healed is harder than continuing in the cycle of sin and neglect. Sometime it’s easier to stay behind the walls protecting our hearts where alone is better than abused. And while I don’t know everything about the journey these women have taken from brokenness to beautiful, I do know one thing for certain… their journey was long and hard and they faced many battles along the way.

I’ve found in my own life, and in the lives of so many others, that God doesn’t let us heal in isolation. Mary DeMuth says “God uses good community to heal us from bad community.”  For someone who has been injured by those that should have been our protectors this truth can seem harsh. Why is opening up to someone else necessary for me to be healed? Honestly, while I’m sure there’s some scientific explanation, I sure don’t know what it is. I do know that God says in James 5:16 “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” God ties our healing to people.

Where community is involved there is also risk involved. Avoid community, avoid risk and you might avoid some hurt. But you will also avoid healing, and love, and friendship, and family.

“God sets the lonely in families.” Psalm 68:6

It’s what we all want, deep down. To be loved, to belong, to have a place and arms that are open to us. Wanting that and allowing ourselves to be healed enough to be a part of that are two different things.  Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is to allow ourselves to be loved. To quit running from love. To quit fighting against love. So simply receive.

Healing is hard. It takes courage, and perseverance, and vulnerability, and humility, and lots of time. But it’s worth the hard, worth the risk… all good things are.

The girls of Saving Grace taught me that.

Wasted Words

flickr words

We have spent so much time wasting our breath, uttering the unworthy and believing the lies the enemy has hurled in our direction. So much of the time the words that come out of our heart paint a picture of what we truly think about ourselves. But even worse we paint a picture of what we think our God can do on our behalf and through us. What would happen today if we asked God to breathe life into our dusty hearts and shine a light on our careless, wasted words?

We minimize what God desires to showcase in our life by putting ourselves down and crippling our God-given roles.

How many times have we wasted saying:

I’m not good enough.

God could never use me to do that.

If I could be like her then I could…

I would be truly happy if only I attained…

What I do in this life is small and unimportant.

I’m asking today that God would restore our hearts and guard our thoughts against things that break us down instead of building us up.

Therefore this is what the LORD says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the LORD. “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the cruel.” (Jer 15:19-21)

God will restore us to serve Him, so first thing this morning let’s start asking God for forgiveness for all the unworthy things that have come out of our mouths. Let’s put it on mute and ask God to search our hearts.

Let’s utter the worthy and focus on a God who spoke the world into motion and ask God to give us a faith that moves mountains.

Lets walk away when we feel ourselves sucked into the gossip vortex so we don’t wound others with our words.

To put on strength means that we must not tear others, or ourself, down with our words.

If out of the abundance the mouth speaks…what is our heart reflecting?

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

Much love to you,

Jennifer