Category Archives: Bible

Mirror, Mirror…

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
James 1:23-24

So, I’m a girl. I have two mirrors in my bedroom—a full-length one hanging on the wall between my closet door and my dresser and a small hand-held one on top of the dresser. Each sees its fair share of use, but to different degrees depending on the occasion. When I’m getting ready to go to work, the mirror barely gets a glance. I know there’s nothing to see. I’m wearing the same work uniform as always, including a hat that makes it unnecessary to deal with my hair. Getting ready at five-thirty in the morning makes me not feel like bothering with makeup, so other than a quick glance in the mirror out of habit I don’t use it. When I get ready for anything other than work, my friend the mirror gets a little more attention. I may try on a couple of different outfits and see how they look in the mirror. I’ll spend a few minutes of quality time up close and personal with the mirror while I do my makeup and hair. I’ll double-check how it all looks before I go out. Then there are the special occasions. A few weeks ago I was a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding. When I got ready for that, my mirror and I got spend a lot of time together. We worked together for a good long while to get my hair and makeup perfect, checking and double-checking for any little imperfection. We visited every few minutes from the time I got ready until I left to make sure that everything was still perfect. My mirror got a lot of use.

No matter how much time I spend on it, I always come to my mirrors with the same question: am I what I should be for the occasion at hand? Sometimes I like the answer the mirror gives me, and sometimes I don’t. I always pay attention though, and if I don’t like the mirror’s answer I stop right then and there and do everything I can to fix whatever I think the problem is. But what if I didn’t? What if instead I glanced in the mirror, or even took a good long look, and then walked away having no idea what I had seen? Wouldn’t I seem rather foolish?

Then again, what I went to church every Sunday and dutifully read a chapter out of my Bible every morning, but nothing in my life ever changed? Hearing the Word of God is easy. It’s as easy as turning on the Christian radio station on the way to work in the morning. It’s as easy as taking three minutes to read the next chapter and checking it off the list. It’s as easy as going to church on Sunday and singing songs and talking to nice people and listening to a sermon. And it really doesn’t do much good. Not if hearing is all we do. If you passively hear something, you probably don’t remember it much better than the lyrics to the song playing in the grocery store last time you were there. Instead, we need to listen—to hear with the intention of doing. If I look in the mirror and don’t act on what I see, looking didn’t change the problem. If I read the Bible and don’t act on what I learn, it doesn’t change my life.

Asking the mirror hanging on my wall if I am what I should be may save a few awkward moments. Asking the mirror of God’s Word if I am what I should be is a whole different matter. Because, in everything that really matters, the Word is the only thing that can answer my question accurately. I can examine myself all I want, or ask others what they think I should change, or read all the self-improvement books in the world, but if I don’t have the measuring stick of the Bible to compare my progress to, I have no idea where I’m really at. I need to look in that mirror to see how I’m doing. And compared to the mirror on my wall, the Word is a magic mirror—not only does it show my flaws, but it provides everything necessary to right them.


‘Course He isn’t Safe…

“Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” ~ C. S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

So far, 2012 has been a very hard, very painful year. I’ll leave it at that. A few days ago, I was feeling broken down, helpless, and completely alone. I realized in some ways, I had lost sight of my Jesus. I realized that was the reason everything seems so difficult to cope with. So I sat down and started to read one of my favorite Gospels: Mark.

I love Mark because of the pictures of Jesus, the King of the Universe, as a humble servant. I guess it can be so easy for me to get caught up in my busy life and use that as an excuse not to reach out and help those around me. Mark always reminds me that if Jesus could take time out of His three year ministry to help everyone who came along, I have no excuse to turn my back on anyone. But that really is not what I was wanting to talk about tonight. Instead, I want to talk about the entirely new picture of Jesus I got.

Like I said, I was broken and needing to be reminded of exactly what kind of a Savior I have. So I started reading at the beginning and just kept going for a good long while. I was lying in bed, cuddling with my puppy, catching up with my Jesus, looking for comfort. I got something a little bit different. I got Mark chapter six.

Maybe I should rewind a little. Because before chapter six comes chapter five. The end of Mark five is the story of the healing of Jairus’ daughter. If you read my blog at all, you probably know I’ve written several posts about that story and it is one of my favorites. The next thing I found Jesus doing was having compassion on the crowd and miraculously feeding the five thousand. At that point I was feeling pretty comfortable with my Jesus. I kind of think maybe the disciples were, too.

Then another familiar story: Jesus walking on water and calming the storm. The disciples saw Him walking out on the water and were terrified. They had no idea who it was and thought it must be a ghost to have that kind of power. And then Jesus called to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid!” When He came up into the boat, “they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure and marveled.”

That awe-inspiring power had been there all along. I wondered if the disciples felt any fear, knowing they spent their days so close to so much strength. Yet once the boat lands, Jesus is right back to healing the sick. There was so much power and majesty bound up in the same Man with so much tenderness and compassion.

I was wondering. Thinking about this apparent paradox and letting my mind try to understand what the disciples must have felt in those moments on the boat. Then it hit me: I am in the exact same position. Not only do I spend every day with Him, He lives in me!

That was one of those surrender moments. One of those moments where I suddenly realized I have absolutely not control. And no, it definitely was not the kind of comfort I was looking for. And yes, it was a little scary. But it’s okay because this kind of life isn’t really supposed to be safe. He never said it would be. I guess I still do not need to know if it is safe. I just need to know that He is so very, very good.

To Pursue Excellence in Writing

So… you can laugh at me if you’d like to. You can tell me I’m overestimating my own ability to use the English language. You can tell me the statists one how many people successfully make a living off of a certain career. It won’t change a thing. The truth is, I’m in love with words. I’m irresistibly drawn to a blank page. I obsess over pens and paper. And I often dream of being a real, published author some day.

I’ve spent hours just listening to people talk in an attempt to improve the dialogues I write. I give immense attention to the details of things, often thinking in full sentences describing in detail the world around me. I’ve sat down and read the dictionary, broadening my vocabulary and knowledge of the English language. I’ve read books upon books about writing techniques and styles. I’ve read classic literature, studying and practicing imitating the styles of great authors. And I’m sure I’m digging my own grave here, because you’re all reading this and wondering why my posts aren’t better written, but that’s beside the point. The fact is that I love writing. I want to write. And I’ve put at least some effort into improving my writing.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone that I’ve been thinking about. One of the staff members here at school asked me if I had any idea what I was doing after graduating and I automatically answered no. But instead of dropping it then like most people do, he kept pushing. He wanted to know about any interests or talents I had. I mentioned that one thing I would love to do is write. He seemed to like that answer and started giving me all kinds of advice.

He talked about writing styles, about observing life, about reading classic literature. We talked about the preparation I’ve put myself through and encouraged me to continue in those things. Then he brought up ideas. We were in the library when we talked, and he took me to a shelf full of philosophy books. He told me that not all of the ideas written by these men were correct, but he’d read some of my homework and had talked to me enough that he thought I could discern what to accept and what to reject. He said one that it was in those books that I would find what could make or break my writing.

He explained to me that writing wasn’t just about the words. Yes, having a mastery of the English language is important. You need to know how to weave the words together to communicate your ideas in the clearest, most memorable and convincing way, but the words are just the framework and what matters is what the words are holding. What does your writing say? Does it strongly communicate themes that will resound with the hearts and lives of your readers? Are the truths communicated timeless and relevant?

I know it’s a rather elementary idea. I’ve heard people say countless times that what you say matters more than how you say it. But somehow, the way he put it challenged me to take a step back and look past the words of what I write… to look at what I am actually communicating, if what I’m saying is even worth the reader’s time. In my thinking and studying, I’ve been considering what I write in light of a few different verses…

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. Luke 1:3-4

Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 31:19

I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 1 Corinthians 4:14

These things we write to you that your joy may be full. 1John 1:4

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

So I guess I’m still thinking… thinking about how to write… thinking about why to write… thinking about what’s worth writing… and thinking I’m more in love with it than ever before.

A Moment Looking Back…

So… it’s August twenty-second. The summer is over and next semester is staring me in the face. And, despite my firm resolution when school ended for the summer, I’ve not written much at all. This has been a crazy summer, and writing about everything that has happened and everything I have learned would probably take another three months, so instead, I think I will just share some of the highlights.

The summer began excitingly enough- with a trip half-way around the world. The mission trip to Cambodia was mind-blowing to say the least. I’m not going to take your time with the full story (it takes four hours to tell and even longer to write/read) I’ll share the main lesson I learned on that trip. It can really be summed up in one verse, John 11:35: Jesus wept.

God completely broke my heart for the beautiful people of Cambodia with their shattered culture, war-torn history, and spiritual darkness. But He also showed me that just as He stopped and wept with the heart-broken Mary even though He knew her brother would soon be returned to her, He is crying alongside the Khmer people even as their nation is slowly being rebuilt and, more importantly, as the Gospel is spreading and healing some of the deeper hurts.

I serve a God who truly weeps with those who weep. And if the Creator of the universe is not above crying with a hurt child or lonely woman, who am I to be so high and unfeeling? So I’ve spent much of this summer learning to put myself in the shoes of the people around me… learning to laugh with them… to hurt with them… to listen to them… to let my heart break for them. It’s been hard, but at the same time it’s been so eye-opening. I want so badly to look at a hungry crowd and feel nothing but compassion, just as my Lord did when He walked among the hurting people of the world.

Which sort of brings me to the next part of the summer. When I got back, I started the summer job I had lined up- serving in the conference center dining room. The Bible College I attend shares land with a conference center, so during the summer they hire students to work over break. My job was generally fun. Really fun. The work was fast-paced with lots of people interaction and I worked with a great group of people who always gave me something to laugh at.

It wasn’t always easy, though. It was extremely physically taxing, and not all of the people we took care of were easy to get along with. It was through that that God began to teach me that really, people are all the same in His eyes and that the loud, demanding conference center guests are just as much His children and are just as worthy of loving, selfless service as the Khmer orphans. I was going through the Gospels and was repeatedly struck by the story of the feeding of the five thousand. Even when Jesus was exhausted and had had a long day, He saw the crowd and was moved with compassion. And again I was faced with the same dilemma: If my Lord’s heart was stirred for these people, how can mine not be? So work was an area of breaking and learning as well, and with every retreat I once again had to beg God to give me a heart of love for the people He would bring here.

And of course as always, the summer was filled with couples. Why is it that everybody decides to get together at the same time anyway? It was really hard sometimes to see what seemed like everybody and their mom finding somebody who was just perfect and who felt the same way about them, and I must confess I found myself spending more late nights than I’d like to admit to up late bemoaning my own singleness and asking God what was wrong with me and when it would be my turn to be loved like that.

But, like He always does, my Daddy gently reminded me of His own beautiful love for me… and that He loves me too much to let me have anything like that too early or too late. When the time is perfect, and considering that He knows everything He’s a better judge of when that is than I am, He’ll bring the right man along. Until then, He has other plans for me. As anxious as I am to have my own home with a husband and a family to care for, I know it’s not time yet. And if I’m really honest with myself, I know I’m not at all ready. And as hard as it’s been with all of the couples around me, it’s been very encouraging to see other, older girls who have faithfully waited and trusted God seeing that hope fulfilled. It’s good to be reminded once in a while that God really does know what He’s doing and I can trust Him in everything. And, as came up in Bible study a little while ago, hope in God never disappoints.

A lot about what I’ll be doing in the future is up in the air. Right now, I have no idea what next semester will be like. I know it’s going to be very different from the last two, but what that actually means I have no clue on. And out past this next semester, I’m completely in the dark. Past December tenth, I don’t know what I’m doing at all. But somehow, I’m not the least bit worried about it. I’ve stopped stressing out about that all too common question of what I’m going to do next after “wasting” two years of my life getting a degree from an unaccredited Bible college. The answer is that I don’t know, and that’s okay because it’s not my problem. That’s the nice thing about trusting in authority… it takes away a lot of burdens. And, it just so happens that the Authority I’m trusting in knows the whole big picture of history, so I figure He’s a pretty good one to know what I should be doing next, and He’s been teaching me a lot this summer about how He leads us.

In June, I was going through the book of Proverbs. I found over and over verses about how people can make their plans, but in the end, God is the one who decides what happens. Proverbs 16:1 says, “The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” We can make our plans, but God gets the final say. Verse nine of the same chapter says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” A few chapters later, Proverbs 19:21 reads, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel- that will stand.”

God’s been teaching me about how He leads in the most natural days. As much as I might want to hear it sometimes, God very rarely gives us instructions by rolling back the sky and speaking from heaven. Instead, He guides us so naturally in everyday life that often we don’t even see His hand until we’re looking back on what happened. This sort of work of God is displayed beautifully in the story of Ruth.

When Ruth went out to glean in hopes of providing for herself and Naomi, she didn’t go expecting to find a husband. Gleaning was the lowest occupation and was essentially the same as begging. She had made her plans, and gleaning was the best she could do. And there was nothing wrong with that. She did her best to be faithful with what she had. But while she was planning her way, God was directing her steps. She did not intentionally begin to work in Boaz’s field in hopes of being redeemed. She did not even know that such a man, or perhaps even that the laws of kinsman redeemers, existed. In her faithfulness, God guided her without her knowledge to the place where He would begin the process of her redemption.

So often God seems to work like that. I may have no idea what He’s doing, I may not even be able to see His hand at all, but He is always there, orchestrating everything perfectly. It’s so comforting knowing that as I look forward at my future and see nothing but foggy dreams, and even as I look at the next semester not knowing what to expect, God has I all figured out. I don’t have to understand ahead of time, or in the middle of things, or even looking back on them, it’s enough to know that He does understand. And that’s all I have time for, so I guess I’ll stop rambling and just move forward. Year two of college is waiting.

Never Alone

I sit alone, the cold darkness of night pressing in around me. My family and my friends have all been asleep for hours and I find myself completely alone again. As I sit, mentally exhausted and surrounded by the silence, my mind begins to wander. Images of everything I have ever hoped to do in this life begin to come into my mind, but something is wrong. Every image that passes before my mind’s eye is one of some wonderful thing I have never done, and every great accomplishment is carried out not by me, but by another girl who, although similar to me, is overwhelmingly prettier, smarter, more outgoing, closer to God, and in every way better than I am. “Of course,” the subtle voice coolly whispers to my mind, “Of course she can do all of those things. But you know that is not you at all. You know how ugly you are, how stupid, how worthless, you’re just that pastor’s kid who has spent her entire life pretending to be a true follower of God. You may be able to fool all of them, but you cannot fool yourself, and you cannot fool God.” I begin to frantically argue, “No!” I mentally shout, “That isn’t true! I’m not like that anymore! That’s over, I’m truly God’s daughter now.” I try to argue, to reason with the voice, but it is so persistent. It calmly reminds me of everything I have ever failed in. It coolly brings to mind every wrong or dirty thought I had throughout the day. It rationally points out the many flaws in my character and my witness. It keeps repeating the same words with the same cold, hard logic- Stupid. Worthless. Filthy. Fraud.

I am not strong enough to fight for long by myself. Soon my mental walls begin to crack and crumble. Yes, it is all true. Everything it says is right. I am so stupid, ugly, and worthless. I have failed over and over and my sin is so filthy. How could I really think that God had saved me? I spent so many years fooling people into thinking I was a Christian, now I had finally just managed to fool myself. “Yes,” the voice whispers reassuringly, “it really is foolish to try to lie to yourself. The wise thing to do is to simply admit who you are. It’s alright, not everyone can be great. It really isn’t your fault at all. If God really loved you, if He really wanted to use you, He would have made you pretty, and talented, and smart, and loveable. You’ve done your best with what He gave you. It’s completely understandable not to serve a God who would make you this way.” With that the voice goes silent, leaving me to consider what it has said. So there I sit alone, with the cold darkness of the night pressing around me, wondering why I bother to go on. There is nothing I could ever do to make my life worthwhile. No more than a waste of space… I am the one mistake God made.

I have found myself wallowing in this pit of despair far more often than I would care to admit. It always comes when I am alone in the dark, away from the comfort of daylight and the accountability of friends. It seems like it is always after a long day, when I am exhausted and long only for the sleep that evades me, that the calm, seemingly rational voice of the enemy begins to whisper and I seem always to lose the fight and begin to believe it. Over the past few weeks especially, God has been continually reminding me of some things, just simple truths that I have “known” since before I could read but that I seem to have a hard time transferring from head-knowledge to heartfelt assurance. Near the end of Romans chapter eight, Paul writes: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”[1]

Right there in those few short verses are the answers to every lie that was thrown at me. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I do not need to be anyone special to serve God, all the power comes from Him. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” My gracious, generous Lord has not held anything back from me. How foolish to imagine that He would be willing to kill His own Son for the sake of saving me, and yet did a poor job in creating me! He has made me exactly as He intended, and He freely bestowed upon me everything I needed to be beautiful and perfectly complete in His eyes. “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” In Christ, I am pure, clean, and perfectly sinless. What happened in my past does not matter, God has justified me. Even the sins I commit today have been paid for, and my precious Savior is standing beside the throne of God, constantly countering every accusation the enemy brings against me with the irrefutable argument of His righteous blood. Everything that the cool, calculating voice had told me was true about me by myself, but was completely wrong about me in Christ. The truth is that I am never alone.

Paul goes on to say in Romans, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[2] I said earlier that the enemy always seems to come to me when I am alone, but perhaps it would be better to say the he always comes when I seem to be alone. The truth is that no matter what I may go through, whether “…tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword,” none of it can separate me from the love of Jesus Christ. I am truly never alone.

I sit alone, the cold darkness of night pressing in around me. My family and my friends have all been asleep for hours and I find myself completely alone again. As I sit, mentally exhausted and surrounded by the silence, my mind begins to wander. The same images of a girl so much better than I could ever be and of her accomplishments begin to pass before my mind’s eye and the cruel voice again begins to whisper to my mind. At first I try to argue, using my own reasoning and quickly seeing how everything the voice says is so much clearer and more rational than my own thoughts. I desperately wish for a friend to come alongside me and help me defend myself. Then, as if out of nowhere, a still, small voice pierces my thoughts. “I am here. Don’t you remember what I’ve been telling you?” Yes! My Jesus is still with me! Drawing on His great strength, I answer the voice firmly, “‘Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate [me] from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus [my] Lord.’[3] In Him, I am everything I need to be.” The voice falls silent for a few minutes, and by the time it begins to speak again, I don’t even hear it. I am busy resting the arms of my precious Jesus, and His loving voice drowns out the lies.

[1] Romans 8:31-34, NKJV

[2] Romans 8:35-39, NKJV

[3] Romans 8:38-39, NKJV

EDIT: Well, I wasn’t planning to tell you all this, but I feel like I should confess… I still haven’t taken the time to think about blogging since the semester started. This is actually just my term paper for my Romans class, so yeah… hence the random footnotes and absurdly long length for a blog post. Anyhow… I thought you guys might enjoy it.

“Because He Delighted in Me”

Okay, I’m going to stop apologizing for sporadic posting. That just seems to be life right now. Anyhow, I just wanted to write a little bit about Psalm 18, which I was studying recently and really struck me… and since I’m actually pretty much caught up on homework, I thought I’d try to get a post written.

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. Psalm 18:7-15

So, that just hit me because it was so intense. I mean God is obviously pretty angry about whatever is going on here. Often when I read this kind of passage it kind of makes me think of the end times, the Great Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah… basically instances where the people were so sinful God had to totally wipe them out. So I looked back a few verses to see what had brought on God’s anger like this.

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears. Psalm 18:3-6

What brought this dramatic response from God? A simple call for help from one of His people who was trusting in Him. Although it may be tempting to think that God’s judgment came in response to the injustice of the circumstances, another reason is given later in the psalm.

He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. Psalm 18:19

It was all because God loved him. And that’s what hit me… God loves all His people so incredibly much.

I’ve been struggling a lot recently with some things, but through it all I keep realizing how amazingly blessed I really am. God is so good, so faithful, so abounding with grace and mercy… and He loves me so much. I guess this psalm just really blew my mind because of how far God’s love goes. I just wanted to share it in case someone else needed some encouragement.

He’s Always Been Faithful

Graduating is one of those milestones in life that makes you start thinking. Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of that. A lot of looking forward, a lot of looking back, a lot of trying to figure out what made me who I am. Tonight I went for a long walk with the girl who’s been my best friend for almost a decade and we were talking about that.

We talked over a lot of the hurts we’ve had over the years, and some of the little triumphs. We talked about the doubts and fears we have about the future, and about the hopes and the promise it holds. We talked about how much we’ve helped each other over the years without ever realizing it. And we came to one inescapable conclusion… God is so very good! We realized how stunningly evident His unending love, mercy, and grace are in our past lives.

Looking back, I tend to think about how much I can complain about. How many times I’ve been hurt by people, how many mistakes I’ve made, how often I’ve made choices that I regret. But then I start to think about how far any of those instances could have gone. I came so close to doing such stupid things so many times… and I certainly can’t take the credit for that not happening. God has been so faithful in my life to provide an escape. He’s always showed me the way to go, even if that meant speaking to me through friends because I wasn’t willing to go to Him.

I tend to think of my life story as rather dull. I mean, I’ve lived a sheltered life as a homeschooled pastor’s kid in a small town. I don’t have a dramatic testimony, I never even really outwardly rebelled against my parents. People look at my life and think either how fortunate I am that so little has happened to hurt me, or how much I missed out on having “fun.” But very few people see it as exciting. I’m learning to look back on my life not as a long, gray, dull road that I had no choice but to walk, but as a dangerous path, guarded on either side by the things God put there to keep me safe.

My life may not seem to be much of a story worth telling, but to myself and a few others it is a testimony of God’s gloriously beautiful faithfulness. Instead of looking at the trials I had as a burden, I’m learning to thank God that I was able to learn those lessons so lightly. Yes, I’ve lived under a rock for much of my life, but suddenly that doesn’t seem so bad. God has used all of the things that got through to me, and the things that didn’t, to make me who He wants me to be… and He’s a far better designer than I could ever dream of being. And He’s always been faithful, despite me running away as hard as I could at times.

I serve an absolutely spectacularly magnificent Lord. The more I think about life, the more overwhelmed I am by His exceeding mercy and grace. God is good. God is so gracious. God is always faithful. What more is there to say?

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth with I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations. ~ Psalm 89:1