Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer Season

Sometimes when you open your mouth to speak, and everything that comes out doesn’t quite explain what you’re feeling, it’s best to write.

As I’ve written before, to grow and be better than you once were, we require forging, challenge; much like the way a diamond is formed. A diamond begins as a carbon, and looks a lot like coal. Under heat and pressure, at nearly 90 miles below the Earth’s surface, a diamond is formed.  Then they are excavated from the Earth and cherished as some of the most precious jewels there are. Aren’t we kind of like diamonds? Given, diamonds don’t have the choice to be stuck under pressure and heat. But sometimes we do. We can choose to take what is hard, what is challenging, and goes against everything the voices inside our head tells us, to push through and come out stronger and more beautiful than before. I like to parallel this to God’s love for us. When we come to Him, most of the time we are a carbon mess, right? We carry fear, doubt, brokenness, messes from our past, and God says we are welcome, and we are made new. I read a passage in Psalms recently, and I was completely amazed by how endlessly forgiving, and warm and full of love our God is. Bear with me, I know this is the entire chapter, but watch how beautiful…
Psalm 107 ESV


Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
prisoners in affliction and in irons,
for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
they fell down, with none to help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and burst their bonds apart.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he shatters the doors of bronze
and cuts in two the bars of iron.
Some were fools through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!
Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
they saw the deeds of the Lord,
his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men
and were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
He turns rivers into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
a fruitful land into a salty waste,
because of the evil of its inhabitants.
He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the hungry dwell,
and they establish a city to live in;
they sow fields and plant vineyards
and get a fruitful yield.
By his blessing they multiply greatly,
and he does not let their livestock diminish.
When they are diminished and brought low
through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
he pours contempt on princes
and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
but he raises up the needy out of affliction
and makes their families like flocks.
The upright see it and are glad,
and all wickedness shuts its mouth.
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.

Reading this, I thought to myself, “Okay, this time He’s going to unleash and punish these guys.” But to my fascination, He didn’t.  Over and over and over and over again (yes, four times just in that passage), God “delivered them from their distress”. God doesn’t have a magical number of chances He gives. We get to be human, make mistakes, learn, FORGE into more than we were before. I truly believe that with God as our rock and foundation we are held by no bounds, there is no limit to our growth. We are redeemed, we are free to grow. Stop living like we're supposed to be punished, or that we can't move forward.
I am deeply thankful for this season in my life. I am thankful for health, clarity, and wisdom. Through the messiness, we will have room or “pressure” to change and grow under. I am thankful for the light of my life, my little Emma. I’ve learned so much about blissful joy and patience through her. She sees the world with such innocence, and beauty. She points out flowers and butterflies, making me slow down and appreciate the captivating world around us. Her love is handed out freely, and I so admire her genuine care for others. The love of my life, Colton, and his heart full of honor and selfless love. You have taught me so much about love, and brought clarity to the kind of woman God’s intended me to be. I am eternally thankful for the friends and family around me, and I cannot wait to see what kind of growth we all will experience next.



When Colton came home on mid-tour leave.






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