Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Importance of Seasons

Hi, its been a while since I last wrote here, but I promise I will try and get better. A lot of things have occurred since February, but I can't wait to get back with this blogging thing. Once again it was my mom's friend who asked me when I was writing another post..."Bethany, when are you going to start your blog again, your words are sweet like honey to my soul. You truly know how to put all the misery and mundane-ness of life into a beautiful picture that always portrays Christ." Woah, thanks for the jolting of my mind & the sly rock-n-roll reference in your affirmation to me :) But to be honest, I really hadn't thought about it lately since I've been filling up journals left and right but what she said got me thinking. I truly know from experience that we all go through certain things in this journey, it might be good and it might be bad but it all works together in a way that is ultimately going to make you look more like Christ; so why not share them? I've learned that even when I feel like I'm alone in my journey and might be the only one going through it (the enemy likes to tell me that lie) that eventually when I share it or rejoice that I made it through on my hands and knees, that there was someone beside me along the way that is going through the exact thing. So here's some encouragement, when you are on this journey and feel like the enemy has jumped on your back and that you're in this place alone, I encourage you to just share it with someone! I don't think I've ever met someone who isn't open to hear your struggles and victories because not only does it encourage and strengthen the body of believers around you, it once again faithfully confirms that the joining of the saints is an incredible way to beat the enemy. So I digress, all of that to say I've been in a season this past couple of months and looking back, it has all started to make sense...questions and all.

This has been my thought process in the recent months - "This season kinda sucks. I can't wait for it to be over and step into the next one."

What's the problem with this? I am not being present in my current season. I feel like a lot of the time, we are quick to name the current season we are in as "the toughest season" thus far; but ever season of life is going to have its struggles and its triumphs.

God works in ways sometimes that we can't understand. It is so important to keeo yourself present in the season that God has you in.

In the winter, do you think that the trees are anxious they will ever grow leaves again? They are so rooted and grounded, they know they are going to bloom again. They don't question if they'll have leaves again, they just know because that's how it has always happened. They get the necessity of seasons (fruitfulness & barrenness) and know that one must occur for the other one to follow.

But in the seasons that feel like winter, when everything is dry and barren, remember when your roots are held, If you are rooted in Christ, you don't have to question if you will bloom again. There is a reason that God has you in the season you are in currently. He wants to do something and teach you something through it. if you fixate on the season to come and not your present season, you will miss out on the things He has for you now. & what He teaches you in this season is preparing you for next season...He's merely equipping you for the next step of your journey.

So no matter how dry and barren your current season feels, root yourself in God and His promises that harvest time is coming. Even when you have no idea what is going on, don't fear because we know who our Father is. Turn your affections to Him, let everything go that is holding you back and take advantage of the place you are in.

"You might not know what He is doing but you know who He is."

Be Blessed.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

And again...I will put my trust in Him.

I’m finding that it’s more important to trust God, to choose to put my faith and hope in Him, than to understand as much as I think I need to. A lot of the questions I bring to God are seeking to understand something that happened that I don’t understand, a present continuing situation or wanting to know what will happen. I want to know things things so I can have peace about them. So I can be okay with them. These are things that are already past or out of my control; but I still want to make sense of them. 
I ask “why?” and “when?” a lot. I always want to understand ‘life’ and its events. But the one thing that is most important for me to know is actually Him. I can not understand the past fully and still be at peace knowing He is Sovereign, good, knows and wants what is best for me and others. I can not know the future from the point I am standing and still be at peace knowing He is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving. Knowing Him brings me peace.

For every question in my heart or mind, He is the answer.

So no matter what has happened, no matter what is happening currently,  no matter what is to come, and no matter what I do not understand or know presently, I know Him. And because I know Him, I have peace. I can put my trust in Him, and have faith in Him because I know Who my life and heart belong to.
Paul, when he was being persecuted for preaching Christ, wrote that because of that he suffered, but he was not ashamed, because, he said: “I know Whom I have believed.” Paul also had a confidence that God would guard what he entrusted to Him. We can believe in Him and have confidence with all we trust Him with. Anything I’ve laid in His hands -my life, my heart, everything that comes with giving Him all of me- I know is in the hands of Someone who loves me and who is good. I know Who I am trusting, even if I do not know specifically what will happen with what I am trusting Him with. 
When I ask Him “Why?” about the past, heartbroken over something I do not understand (and may never), He answers me, “Do you trust Me?”

When I tell Him, “I don’t really understand why things are like this right now” He answers, “Do you trust Me?”

When I look at my future and admit, “I have no idea what is going to happen, what are You doing?” He answers, “Do you trust Me?”
Do I trust Him? 
That is the question that needs answered most.
In trusting God, we have to choose to trust Him every day all over again, for each and every question. We have to see Him as the answer. 
I will choose to trust Him. Because for me, trusting God is part of loving God. I think when I trust Him, I show Him love. Because I love Him, I trust Him. If you give your life to Him, you gotta trust Him. If you let Him lead you, you have to trust Him. Even if you don’t know all that He does, or what He will do. You have to take His hand and say, “I trust Your judgement. I trust Your leadership, I will follow You to the end, I trust You.” There is no reason not to. He’s never going to fail, He’s never going to choose the wrong thing. I know who I am believing in, and I trust Him.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Even is well.

It's 2015 and here I am with more love for You than ever before. Your love humbles me. Your grace amazes me. Your favor blesses me. Your mercy surprises me. Your hand upholds me. Your word comforts me. Your glory shines on me. Your humor reminds me of the joy that never leaves. Your plan for my life never ceases to amaze me.

That's beautiful, sometimes messy when my flesh gets in the way. I try to understand when you are beckoning me to just trust You. And it's everything I need but not always what I want. But you're a faithful Father, steadfast teacher, confident leader, constant friend, forever faithful, supernaturally loving...and the Saviour that I want to do live with for eternity. You're good and understanding.

In 2015, I'm believing for promises fulfilled, supernatural encounters, new levels reached with you and questions brought to light. This life is such an adventure with you and even though 2014 didn't look like what I "thought" it would or looked and was fulfilled in the exact way that you had always planned. And that's what makes me look back over this year with more thankfulness in my heart that I could ever describe with words. I'm in awe of your greatness and so humbled that I've been chosen to live this life. I can only pray and strive that I even scratch the surface of being as constant in our relationship in 2015 than you have been with me for my entire life.

So Abba, help me to always remember that giving you my hopes, dreams and heart will be worth it all. I've never regretted it in the past and I could never in the future. Let me love you more in all that I do. Give me more kindness to exude. Understanding. Love. Steadfastness. Trust. In all things. And at the end of the day, if and when I fail and come to you, remind me of my hearts cry... Not my will but Yours. Your plan will always be well with my soul.

May this next year bring me closer to Christ and further away from the passions that would steal me and my attention away from Him.

"The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk [not to stand in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility]!" Habakkuk 3:19

Friday, October 10, 2014

He Makes Me Brave

The word BRAVE has been resonating in my mind and spirit for sometime now. Bethel Music came out with a song, "You Make Me Brave" and it has just totally rocked me since the first time I heard it. Fortunately, I can say that I haven't always lives a "safe"life in my relationship with Christ, but unfortunately I can't say that I've been as brave as He always wanted me to be either. I admit, sometimes I want to take the easy way out and do the safe thing...but then I am reminded of the God that I get to do life with. The person who comes before me, stands beside me and makes me brave to do the things that He needs and wants me to do.

In the past, I've had moments when I have given into fear. Quite often, it has stopped me from taking risks, loving people and doing what the Spirit was leading me to do; but then I realized that I didn't want to get to the end of my race, look back and think, "yes, I always played it safe...that was a great to live in comfort and mediocrity." I want to live a life of pure abandonment  for Him and be a woman that always steps out in faith on this adventure that God has for me. At the end of my race, I want to look back on it all and just be dazzled with where the Lord led me. I'm sure I'll doubt sometimes and even question what He calls me to do; but at the end of it all, I will be able to look back on this adventure with Him and be able to say, that in every step, every doubt, every adventure, every promise, every word...He was there with me always and continually drawing me to Himself.

Over the last 2 months, I've been on a new adventure with Jesus and it's one that has radically changed my life and truly blown my mind of the Lords' faithfulness. I'll tell the entire story later but in a nutshell, the Lord has led me to the most beautiful body of Christ to do life with. This type of community is what I have longed to be a part of for so long. I almost missed it because fear crept in quickly when something didn't go the way I thought it should, but praise Jesus that He made me brave, As a result, I now get to do life with the most beautiful body of believers that I've ever been a part of. In the place I am now, there is a new part of my heart that has been awakened and it has brought me to a place of such humbleness and courage.

I've been praying for the Lord to show me the woman of God that he has called me to be. Over the last 7 years of this journey with Him, He has been so faithful to bring forth His identity in me; but the beautiful thing about Him is that He never ends...there is always more to become IN Him.

I want to be a woman that takes risks. Who pursues people that are out of my comfort zone because I want to love them like Jesus loves them. I want to be a woman of courage, who asks the hard questions. I want to be in prayer constantly to see people and situations like Jesus sees them. I want to step out; to not just take a leap of faith but to have faith in the Mighty One who is always with me. I want to invite people into my life like Jesus dud. And I want to do whatever He calls me to do and not let fear ever stop me. Let us be people who are known for being brave. Not ones who are secret about our love for Christ. Lets throw off fear and timidity and let us adorn ourselves with bravery.

St. Catherine of Siena said it beautifully, "Start being brave in everything. Drive our darkness and spread light. Don't look at your weakness. Realize instead that in Christ crucified, you can do anything".

Everyday I come face to face with the truth of something that I have yet to learn, but as believers we always have the opportunity to somehow choose JOY through it all. It takes effort & being intentional for me to approach someone and begin a conversation with them, but knowing others might find HIM through  my vulnerability makes it all worth it. The best example of what being brave looks like is Jesus himself. As I've been reading the bible since this new found idea of bravery, I've come to see & know Jesus differently that I ever have before. He was turned on, rejected, literally sold for money & ultimately alone at the end; but He was the most brave of all. He fasted from Heaven for 33 years & left His perfect home for an uncomfortable place. He traded all of that to win your heart [and mine]. He said things that people were afraid to say, did things that people were afraid to do and was the exact person that we need Him to be on our behalf. He perform miracles but not to seek face. He spent time with people that his disciples ignored before they knew Him. Constantly, He was slipping away to spend time in the secret place with His Father. And ultimately, He died so that we could live. That's brave. 

Jesus was brave with His life so that we could be confident in being brave with our life too. So GO, be brave today. Him & all of Heaven are cheering you on.

Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong & courageous. Do not be frightened & do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." I realize that being brave isn't as easy as just saying it. But be encouraged, look to Him...instead of your fear, or situation, or your ability/inability. He is mighty and able. He holds you and he has your heart. He is your shield and in Him, you are free. You are cared for. You are loved. And fully accepted.

Below is the picture that I saw on my facebook feed right after fear had crept in and I was about to leave the very place the Lord was leading me to, but Hallelujah; He is faithful and will make it happen, for He who calls you is faithful. Be encouraged and BE BRAVE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

He is good.

We struggle to believe that He is good when we are experiencing pain.

And I think He understands that.

The God who knew us before we came to be surely does not want us to go through that pain- yet He does not waste this season in our lives.

When all feels lost He is always giving us the opportunity to find Him.

He is the lighthouse and we are like ships in the night.

His beacon is always shining- but it is up to us to look for it amidst the darkness and crashing waves.

His is a light that illuminates our darkness, and the rocks that would damage us. A light that will guide us to safe harbor.

And in our pain we often close our eyes because the light stings and reminds us that we are still amid the waves- but He has not left us.

Monday, August 25, 2014

He is faithful.

    He’s faithful.
But not just when the pain is ending and the understanding comes.
He was faithful in the midst of our hurt, when we were filled with confusion.
He doesn’t suddenly become faithful when we finally come to know what He was doing the whole time we thought He had left us.

When we were unfaithful, He was faithful.
When we didn’t understand, He was faithful.
When we hated Him, He was faithful.
When we blamed Him, He was faithful.
When we marred His reputation, He was faithful.
When we left- He stayed.
When we cursed- He blessed.
When we hated- He loved.
He is faithful.
He was faithful.
He has always been faithful.

(And if the only time you call Him faithful is when you aren’t facing trouble, then you must realize that it was not Him who was unfaithful during that time, but you.)

    Monday, October 7, 2013

    real life & perspective

    I want to be little, so that He can be big.
    I want to be weak, so that His strength is obvious.
    I want to be fearless, so that I will never get in the way of His plans.
    I want to be reckless, so that He will get so much glory.
    I wan to be obedient, so that He will know I am all in.
    I want to speak truth and fight for love and never give up
    even when it’s midnight and my heart is broken and no one is listening and He seems so quiet.

    I don’t want to miss a thing. Because I believe this giant, secret, hidden, huge promise that He has greater things in store; that right now there is a plan that is being weaved through all of time and we get to be apart of it,
    Do you know that Heaven is coming, and it’s a big deal?
    Do you know that the Kingdom is alive INSIDE of you?
    Do you know that you hold the ticket to revival? All you need to do is lay your heart down on the altar and let the Fire fall.
    Oh, I don’t want to miss a thing.
    I want to be so lost in His whispers and His promises and His sunsets that speak of the world to come.
    I want my life, my love, my heart, to always be an expression of who He is.
    I want the world to see that when I trip, He is quick to pick me up.
    I want the world to know that when I slip, He is quick to forgive.
    I want the world to understand that I will never be like them:
    but I will always love them, I will always serve them, I will always give everything that I have to them.
    Because that’s what He did for me.
    These are my dreams:
    to KNOW Him and make Him KNOWN.
    to love broken teenage girls.
    to love broken women.
    to love broken children.
    to love broken people.
    to be an instrument of HIS healing, as He gives me His eyes to see sickness, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
    to teach the next generation (and my own) what it means to WORSHIP.
    to worship in everything that I do.
    to be holy.
    to adopt children as I have been adopted by the King of Kings.
    to be a light in a dark valley.
    to shine forth the glory of the One who came and brought redemption.
    to be a minister of reconciliation.
    to love kids at youth group, even when they smell bad.
    to pray through spiritual strongholds and impossible situations and scary sicknesses and new stories coming into being.
    to always be less than He, and always be all in.
    I was born for such a time as this, and my purpose was to die. So, for Him, I choose death;and in response I find glorious, breathtaking, heart racing life.