Five minutes to write on the word: Welcome. Write–don’t edit–just 5 minutes to be in the moment–
These words, these songs of JJ Heller’s, they speak my heart, they lift my head.
I say goodbye to last year, 2014. Good riddance.
It was a year of struggle, of mental tug of war, of hormones switched on and off by monstrous needles jabbing each month, of watching those I love suffer and some of them lose everything.
Still much to be thankful for, I grasped at those thankful moments all the while sinking in despair. At the end of the year I willed myself to list my thankful, sometimes it felt like that list was the only pathway to reality & truth.
2014. You were a hard year.
With you comes a fresh start, for His promises never change and He makes all things new.
There is still suffering and sweet friends waiting in anguish on test results and others with stage 4 diagnosis & those damn monthly needles in my stomach whose thought of them makes it churn.
But. As sweet JJ Heller and her handsome husband sing,
I am not focusing on the ‘cracks in the walls or the times that I fall.’
I WILL NOT.
*It’s all becoming so clear There is no use living in regret Let’s fight a good fight Train our eyes to find the light That makes this year the best one yet! Starting right here
I will not live in the dark room. Not when my saving Savior is wooing me to the light room.
The Man That I Love
And for the man that I love:
*This year I plan on thinking less of “I” and “me” I resolve to think of “us” and “we” This year I can’t wait to see what good will come To feel alive instead of feeling numb This year
How? How can I say these things with such certainty and without looking back? How will I run to the safety of the light room?
By welcoming truth.
The truth is, I have someone who will (in the words of another beautiful song by Heller)
*Love me for me Not for what I have done or what I will become
I open my eyes from looking at all the despair,
I will lift my head & run to the light room and a God that says:
*I will give you the love The love that you never knew
I come out of the room, fully known, fully loved, whole & true; with a love so familiar, but at times I never knew.
So, to 2015 I say “Hello & Welcome.”
*All words in italics are words from “This Year” & “What Love Really Means” both songs by JJ Heller.
Her music has been a place I run to in the hardest of times. I just adore her and her amazing smile, cute bangs & realness on her Facebook page. What a gift she is & what gifts she has!
Do you find yourself asking this question of our God?
Do you find yourself just in the pit of pain and hardship, wondering when and if it will ever let up?
If you have been there or if you are there now, I shout it loud.
This fallen world that is not our ultimate home is full of disorder, pain & suffering. This is not how it was meant to be, and someday all will be restored. Until that day, I want to grab on to this:
HE. CARES. FOR. YOU.
God’s got your back, Beloved. He is for you. He sees your struggle, hurt and pain. He sees and promises to bring good out of it all. There will be release. There is hope. It will get better.
In the meantime, join me in looking for His care. It is all around us you know.
The past month or so has been a doozy for me and honestly there were days that were pure suffering for me both physically and mentally. I hated every minute of it, but in the midst of it, I knew God still had me. I knew this because He has brought me through so much already. When I look back, I see it clear that He has used pain and suffering in my life to bring about what matters most. He has used it to change me. He has used it to show me how desperately I needed Him and the hope that the suffering of His Son brought.
So in your pain, I encourage you to hold on. Grasp hard to what is true.
YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE SEEN.
Hold on, even if it by that teeny tiny pinkie. Raising your hand in faith, even in the midst of slipping, is obedience. Faith the size of a mustard seed can be miraculous when offered to God. You may feel weak, with only the smallest of fingers left holding on; a lonely, scary feeling of losing grip & falling, but guess what? In your weakness He is strong. He is your strength. His grasp, even in the slipping, is enough. He’s got you. His grip is gentle and thorough and enough.
Let me encourage you to ask for eyes to see the smallest glimpses of this God who loves us so. Look for the beauty in the pain. It is there. Focus on that bright red leaf that falls, dying yet beautiful, a reminder of seasons and how all things will be made new in time.
Find your thankfulness, even in the pain…especially in the pain. Thank Him for even the smallest of things when you can’t bear to look up for anything bigger.
Count them with me?
1. The taste of coffee in the morning.
2. A smile from a stranger.
3. A soft pillow to lay your hurting head.
5. That shirt you are wearing.
It might seem mundane and not worth your while, but just do it. Start listing the gifts. There are so many. Join me. I’ve stopped counting blessings and I miss the way it changed me and made me see how He cares. It will also change you. Thankfulness in the midst of pain will change you.
This change might not happen right away, but keep at it. Let us count together, claim the promise that He cares for us, hold on with the smallest of fingers & open our eyes even to the smallest of blessings.
Let’s count, change, and see together.
In turn, we will start to feel what we know is true. Sooner rather than later, we will feel His care.
Will you join me & list a few gifts right here and now in the comments? I’d love to hear of the things that you see, for they, too, will change me.
I am currently with you, I have gone before you, and I will be with you in this next season. I will never leave you or forsake you.
I see you feel weak, this is prime time for me to make you strong. You feel weak, but did you know that in me you can move mountains? I am doing more inner work in you. Just you wait! You will see and rejoice in me.
I have called you out of darkness into marvelous light. Shine! Remember the moment we had long ago when I gave you this word? It was a branding of sorts. Keep shining.
You are not your own. You have been bought with a price. You are mine. You belong. I see you. I get you. I know you, I call you child. You are a NEW creation. The old has passed. Look, Amy! The new has come. You. Have. Been. Made. New. Remember the hashtag? Live in this reality. #LivingNew
Stay close to me. Abide. I am safe. My grace and kindness toward you is immeasurable. My love will never run out. I am your hiding place; I will preserve you from trouble; I will surround you with words of truth and deliverance.
Do you hear, my child? These are My whispered words to you. Listen up. Snuggle in. I’ve got you. I’ve got it all.
I respond. “You are a hiding place for me you preserve me from trouble.” (Psalm 32:7 ESV)