Words Worth Treasuring

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

Luke 2:17-20

2020. In a handful of hours it will have officially arrived.

I love New Years, I really do.

While I am a staunch believer in the fact that any goal can start anywhere at anytime, month and date aside, there is something about New Years.

You can feel the expectation in the air.

It is the one time of year where we as a society really sit down and think about who we want to be and what we want to do.

For most adults, its the one time of year where we really let ourselves dream, as we imagine and envision the futures we wish to seek.

Think about it.

Impossible goals suddenly become possibly possible and a determination runs through our veins.

Those things our past selves could “never” achieve, our coming selves just might be able to accomplish.

And it is a beautiful thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am queen of setting goals which are usually not fully met. (However, I run on a strong foundation of shoot for the moon and land among the stars, sort of mentality.)

And I think that is okay. The idea is to move forward. If you happen to take over the world at the same time, great. Meanwhile, keep moving.

Unfortunately many of us once realizing that we might not make the finish line in the time or shape we felt we should have made it in- are prone to stop moving.

We start to let words of doubt and a harsh “reality” shout above the calm, steady and passionate voice of hope.

It happens to all of us somewhere at some point. And it may knock you down for a week, a month, a year…

But- I pray that eventually the calm, steady, excited voice of hope will call to your heart again.

As we move into this New Year, I pray that you dare to dream impossible dreams.

I pray that you would dare to answer the call which the Lord has placed on your life.

I pray that you would realize that no goal or dream is too small nor too big. If it weighs on your heart, I pray that you embrace it.

Most importantly, I pray you step into this New Year like Mary.

Like Mary, I pray that you carefully choose the words you treasure and ponder in your heart. Let the ones which tell you to sit back down fall away, and take the hand of those which call you to step forward.

Like Mary, I pray that you seek God in the center of your plans, dreams and goals and when God calls you to a path that takes an unexpected turn, I pray that you have the courage to bravely take that step- turning to His Word continuously.

It’s a good Word to treasure.

I cannot wait to see you all in 2020! We are going to be doing  exciting things in 2020 and I cannot wait to share them with you! As always, please share any prayer requests and praise reports! We will pray and praise the Lord alongside you as we enter this New Year and you prepare to take on those mountains which you are anointed and intended to conquer!

Shout out to the Christian Planner family and The Hero’s Journal for providing these amazing tools for journaling and tracking types, as myself! 🙏 ⚔️🙌

https://christianplanner.com

https://theherosjournal.co

A Story You’ll Use: Scars Part I

 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

John 20:17

Listen for The Voice. Not a voice.

These last couple of weeks have been a blur, on a personal level my schedule consisted of finishing my current degree program, making arrangements for the next steps in my new degree program and discerning God’s will pertaining to the direction in which I needed to walk this summer concerning internship and career opportunities.

And of course celebrating Easter.

As I was going through the processes listed above my first and foremost thoughts were tempted to revolve around what I am not. I am not qualified. I am not done. I am not ready. I am not sure.

I had and have these great dreams of doing these great things. (Not earth shattering great things, but personally world shaking great things). The things I have deemed would be great to do. The purpose I believe God may have created me for, what motivates and inspires me. My dreams.

But there is something about those next steps.

Taking the next step is absolutely terrifying.

Taking the next step is all we want to do, all we plan for, all we patiently train and study and move toward…

But when we reach that threshold there is this moment.

A moment of complete vulnerability as we realize this next step will not only reveal the strengths we have carefully crafted, but the weaknesses we have yet to uncover and develop.

The path has changed so many times before. I have no doubt that it will continue to take unexpected turns. Unfortunately I have not been able to convince God to hand over the map- not even to let me get a quick glance.

So in the middle of the chaos of life and choices and unworthiness and vulnerability-

Easter broke me.

Easter shattered everything. Easter shatters every prerequisite, every sensible and rational doubt or reasoning.

Easter is the epitome of the impossible, improbable and impractical. Defined by love more powerful than the depths of Hell and by a mission not even satan could foretell.

Easter reminds us that we don’t have to be qualified. We don’t have to know the answers. We don’t have to be ready. And we don’t have to go alone. He will qualify us, He knows the answers, He is ready and He is already there and right beside us.

Standing in the threshold is like the dawn of Easter morning. Coming out of the dark into the light. Behind you is where you’ve been and ahead of you is what is next.

And you may not know exactly what that day is going to bring and you may feel as if you had all the wrong answers and you may be fighting doubt and fear and despair and remembering “better” (aka safer) days but…

What is on the other side is so brilliantly and dazzlingly worth it, something that you yourself never could have imagined in your wildest dreams.

How do we know this? Amid everyday, ordinary life, how do we know that something as simple and complex as taking the next step will ultimately lead to something so awe-inspiring and wonderful?

Because He has called our name.

Just as He called Mary’s. Mary who had just come through the darkest night.

Mary who I am willing to bet was surrounded by voices telling her all she’d believed, all she held true, all she’d trained for was wrong. Mary who was surrounded by those waiting to crush her.

Can you imagine? I am sure that between Friday and Sunday morning, more than once the enemy had come against her, that the enemy had attempted to put visions of all the stones being picked back up in her head. As she clung to Jesus words, I do not condemn you either. I love you. You are worthy, not because of what you have done or who you are, but because of who I am and what I have done.

Easter reminded me to look closer when I was tempted to look back.

Because amid all of the failed paths and unexpected turns, I can see how it has all shaped me and brought me to exactly where I am now. I can see the story that they’ve crafted and I can recognize that had those paths gone the way I had planned it may have been good, but the story would not be nearly as great as the one I am in now.

And as much as I love a good story, only God knows what it means to me to be part of His Great story which we have only yet begun to grasp.

There is a song by I Am They titled Scars. The beginning includes the lyrics:

“Cause my brokenness brought me to You/
And these wounds are a story You’ll use”

God used Jesus’ scars to tell the greatest story. And that story has not ended…

As I set aside all the doubts and questions and replace them with the memories of the times He has done all He has promised…

He qualifies me. He strengthens me. He enables me. He calls me.

And the scars? Those twisted paths? Those thresholds?

They’re apart of the greatest story, one we have not yet fully imagined.