Limitations & Love Letters

God is within her. Ps 46:5

We walk into a room filled with people we don’t know very well. I see this wave of anxiety rush over my oldest daughter’s face.

“Oh Mom, I don’t like walking into a room where I don’t know people.”

Baby girl, I get it.

“Baby, half of the people in this room feel just like you do.”

You can do this.

She relaxes and within minutes she is talking with a girl a few years older than her with a smile on her face.

I smile and watch her in that stretching place and know that growth is painfully awkward and wonderful at the same time.

We have all been hard wired to function a certain way, I’m not sure when it starts but eventually we start thinking that the way we were designed is wrong. We forget that our weaknesses give way to a strength we can only find in God.

We fight against our God-given abilities and try hard to function like someone else.

It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

Trying to be something that we are not is like wearing shoes that don’t fit, each step feels uncomfortable and eventually you aren’t walking at all. You are limping.

You were never meant to limp, you were meant to live life to the fullest. Each time we second-guess our Creator who designed us for a very special reason and role in the body of Christ, we lose some of the best parts of who we are. We minimize what God meant to showcase for His glory.

Why do we limit what God meant to illuminate?

Sometimes I wonder if all we see when we examine our lives are limitations. Maybe it’s not limitations; maybe it’s a love letter.

A love letter that says, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

A love letter that says, “In your neediness you will find Me and you will find that I am more than enough.”

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (Matt 11:28 NIV)

Everyday we are faced with things that make us uncomfortable and in that stretching place we figure out what we are made of. We learn that shy girls can overcome those first feelings of panic and end up having the time of their lives.

We learn that the over-sharing extrovert feels the need to chat constantly because the silence makes her uncomfortable. But, eventually she learns how to listen like her loved ones need her to.

We learn how to depend on God in a world that teaches us being self-sufficient is the ultimate goal.

I think we should stretch, learn, and grow knowing that our moment of weakness provides us with an opportunity to see God’s power revealed in us.

We learn that His grace is sufficient even when we feel like a hot-mess. We learn that His grace covers all of our cracked, fragile place.

Pray, stretch, grow and repeat.

Much love,

Jennifer Renee

When It’s Hard To Have Faith

Whitley,Flower child

I am the girl who likes to see the preview for the next episode immediately after watching one of my favorite shows. I want that little teaser for what’s coming next so I have something to look forward to.

If I could make this happen with my life, I would opt for that. Just a little sneak peak of what is coming. But it never happens. All of us feel like God has given us specific promises and most of us remain in that tender place where we wait. The longer we have to wait, the more we lose hope and start thinking that maybe, just maybe, it was all in our heads.

I’ve been reading in Hebrews chapter 11 about faith in the unseen, that place were hope lingers and we have to go on faith, not on what is in front of our faces. For some of us this is extremely difficult because we want tangible proof, not the unlocked and unseen promise tucked in our hearts.

In this place we can only surrender to God and to the waiting and to the trusting of God’s promises. His timing is clearly not ours and so we ask for a faith that is bigger than the doubting side of us. And when that comes we begin to hope again like we did when we first received our promise. We beg God that we will not become weary in our well doing and working for Him.

Somehow the longer we pray for that one thing that we want the most, the further we walk the tightrope of doubt.

We stop expecting God to move, or change a heart, or possibly even change ours. And all of the sudden, we stop altogether hoping in the unseen.

Sometimes we even stop praying.

Or hoping.

Or waiting.

We just move on.

We are Peter sinking in the water with the cold currents about to pull us under. We are filled with doubt like Thomas asking to see the nail scars in the hands of our Savior.

We long for proof when He alone is the answer and the remedy for what makes us soul-sick.

In the past I’ve been the one to chase gifts instead of the gift-giver. I’ve looked and prayed for answers instead of seeking the One who holds my tomorrow. I’ve awakened in the night and wrestled with worry and just when I thought I couldn’t wrestle anymore, I gave my cares over to God. He always knows what to do with them.

We waste our days wishing for tomorrow and miss the blessings of today. I know with all my heart that waiting produces something profound inside of us, a tool to sharpen what we thought was important. To be stripped of all forms of self, vulnerable and bare, the neediness of who we are exposes us turning our hearts towards God.

To the woman who is wrestling to find her worth, let love wrap you up and remind you that what you do matters. I know you feel like everything looks the same and wonder how you can find the miraculous in the mundane, but it’s right there even when you can’t see it.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor 4:18)

Purpose is unfolding inside of you each and every day.

We want so much for God to fulfill His purpose inside of us; we want the big things when the small things really are the big things. If it is done in obedience, it’s not at all small. It’s huge.

We want the desires of our heart and most of the time we are unwilling to wait on that, for that desire to be placed in our hearts by God because we have gotten our priorities all out of whack.

God has a timing that doesn’t make sense to any of us, but it is worth it. It is worth waiting for and throwing yourself down on the carpet to pray for it. Those unseen things are exactly where the plan of God and our faith collide. God is working on your behalf, even when you can’t see it.

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

Much love,

Jennifer Renee

 

 

Death of the Phoenix

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the forest here is dark and deep
and He watches while I sleep
and walk upon the tangled roots
of elder trees barren of fruit

He watches as I stumble, fall
bow my head, defeated, crawl
the heavy dark upon my back 
deep and shallow gasping breath

long grows the night and colder still
as trees give way to rocky hill
and bloodied knees trod up and on
eyes blind of beauty to gaze upon

the wind! it bites and gnashes teeth
upon my barren face and feet
shivering, trembling, hopeless climb
He watches me, ever behind

fallen in defeat I lie
upon the summit of mountain high
no stars above nor warmth below
no voice, no comfort in death’s shadow

the earth, it stills, the ticking stops
and silences life and breath and thought
and there alone in hopeless lament
my soul in anguish ripped and rent

and as the breath creeps from my bones
my only wish… be not alone
I lift my eyes and meet His stare
still and silent standing there

in the dying silent cry
my fears no longer will deny
that light is gone and life is passed
and yet He stands behind, detached

nothing lies within this tomb
of grown cold heart and bloodied wounds 
the body empty, lifeless, still
He slowly approaches, stops and kneels

fingers brush what’s dead and cold 
fire errupts, body blazes whole
comsuming fire, without – within
lapping, licking, flaming skin

embers, ashes, smouldering dust
no more life, just silent hush
as mountain, rock, sky and He
gaze upon what once was me

the mountain waits with bated breath
the sky bends down to see what’s next
the rock beneath the ash is still
as He breathes onto what was killed

and reaches down with spotless hands
into the dust that was a man
but now is only useless grime
He bends low, His lips to mine

and into dust He blows and breathes
in ashes cold He beckons me
and I, though dead, awaken rise
and rousing from the darkness fly

with outstretched wings I grasp the vault
and circle higher in my assult
I soar atop the forrest deep 
and rise above the deadly sleep

upon the whisp of cloud I hear
a shout, a clap, a laughing cheer
spiraling through expanse I see
He is there! Leading me

~Keri Lynn