A Butterfly.

I’m reminded of a quote that has truly changed the way I look at the journey God has taken me on:

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.“~Richard Bach

What a beautiful thought to think that even when we are in the midst of our deepest grief and we don’t know if we will ever make it through, that God sees the bigger picture. He sees that through our grief and heartache, He can form us into exactly who He wants us to be–completely beautiful and able to soar in His love.
Beautiful butterfly I spotted at the Butterfly Palace with my dad in Branson, Missouri.

Restoration.

Thank you for taking me to Your quiet waters, Lord. You are so good, and I could never begin to put into words the purpose You have revealed to me. You have broken me, Lord. You have made me completely whole through my brokenness and given me a purpose I could never construct myself. God, I am so broken, but You restore me and make me COMPLETELY whole. Wow. I just can’t even put into words what You are doing in me, and I want Your presence to be so enveloping to me that I see You fresh in every moment, closer with every breath. Wow, You are good, God. I can’t fathom Your faithfulness or even come close to understanding Your PERFECT ways. You have woven together my every moment to bring You glory. And I want nothing else than to bring You glory. Let Your tears in me cry for others’ souls—for restoration, as You’ve so restored me. Let me be open to witnessing the miracles You desire to share with me every day. You are breaking my heart for what breaks Yours, Lord, and I never want that to stop.

Passion.


I love the message of this photo. Think about what makes you most excited. What gifts has God given youto make a difference in those around you? Grow that gift by using it day-by-day. Even the smallest gestures make us feel the most purposeful if we are using the unique passion God has gifted us with.

Perfect Love.

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first.

                                                                                                                    ~1 John 4:16-19

God has been pouring this truth over my heart the past couple weeks, and it has been completely changing the way I see His love towards me, and also the way I love those around me.

One of the biggest areas the enemy tries to target me is through fear–fear of the future, fear for what may happen, and fear that I don’t have control over everything that happens from day to day. The Holy Spirit has been convicting me so strongly about my lack of trust, stemming from my lack of accepting God‘s love for me–a love that reaches through the cracks that nobody else can reach, a restoring love that SOOTHES our fears, and allows us to completely be at peace in His presence.

As a human being, it’s sometimes difficult to conceptualize the idea of “perfect love.” Because we are sinful by nature, we can have such a hard time being able to give ourselves grace and love when we make mistakes, think negatively, or have a lack of trust in God. We think that because we can’t always love ourselves, that God couldn’t possibly love us.

However, God IS love, and His love knows NO bounds. We can’t even begin to understand why He loves us as He does, especially when we keep making mistakes. Yet, God’s love is more than enough to meet our needs.

NO love from any other person could EVER begin to make us feel as satisfied and loved as God’s perfect love. We try to pursue an unconditional love from places that continually leave us dry–from other people. However, as individuals, we know we can’t produce an unconditional love for others; therefore, we have no business in trying to search for an unconditional love in those around us. The ONLY love that is perfect, complete, beautiful, and totally satisfying is the love of God.

And when we are plugged into HIS love, we are able to love with the love that He has so graciously given to us. He has chosen us–to love us and to care for us and to fill the deepest needs that NOBODY in the world can satisfy.

So when the enemy tries to whisper in your ear that you will never be worthy of God’s love, DO NOT LISTEN to that lie. God is a redemptive God, and He forgives our sins. He LONGS with everything to love you. Despite everything the enemy points out should hold you back from accepting God’s love, the Bible clearly states that “nothing can ever separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38).

Rest in God’s love, and believe that it is more than enough to meet the deepest longings in your heart that cry for love. God formed your heart, and He knows exactly what your heart needs. He is closer to you than even your own heartbeat

What a perfect love. 

My Soul Speaks to You.

God, You’ve been so faithful to me.
I think about the tears You’ve wiped away,
My sin-sick soul saved from decay.
You’ve spoken Your love gently to my being.
Your passion in me is so utterly freeing.
I notice Your hand has been my guide.
You’ve called me Your servant, Your daughter, Your bride.
So often I wish to accept Your grace,
But I push it aside, not accepting a trace.

Sometimes I can feel the doubts rising,
Shooting up from my very soul—
Like venom attempting to take control.
Yet, Your grace makes me fully free.
I am called to live victoriously,
Not like an exile with no place to belong,
But like a beautiful bird with a freedom song.
I feel Your Spirit gently tugging my heart,
A gnaw of discontent, a long for a new start.

Please break my heart for Yours, Lord.
So often I miss the grace You give
Because I can’t justify the way I live.
Remind me that that’s exactly the point.
My struggles and fears You redeem and anoint.
You take every single shattered piece,
You heal my scars, Your love release.
Help me to see Your eyes for me.
I am purchased and called and loved and free.

I know I don’t deserve Your grace.
But You lovingly and willingly share it.
When time after time I recommit
My life to Your perfect calling.
When I feel like I’m desperately falling,
Let me fall to Your arms and not depart.
For You formed my very heart.
You know every thought I can’t understand
You see my every moment, count my every hair strand.

You have given me a calling.
To love out of the love You’ve given.
May this be the calling to which I am driven.
It’s miraculous for me to dwell on the thought
That my sins and despairs You gladly forgot.
Help me be the same.
Give me grace to forgive, a heart not to blame.
Because of Your beautiful, priceless gift.
I can live for Your name, forget every rift.

You give me grace to share with others.
Your mercies are new every morning.
You shower them on me without any warning.
May my smile and my actions be ever so sweet.
As I live for Your Name, as I lay at Your feet.
Purify my heart, let me see through Your eyes.
Without any sinful filter, without any disguise.
I long to see Your glory in my everyday world.
So let Your Kingdom come, let Your love be unfurled.

First Semester Reflections.

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When I began my first semester here as a freshman, I felt very uncertain about the many weeks that would await me—away from the comfort of home, where I felt extremely safe and warm bundled on my soft couch watching scripted Turner Classic Movies. I suppose what I most feared about beginning a new chapter at Evangel was that it was an unscripted start, an unpredictable present.

Yet, as I began to go to my classes everyday, learned about others’ lives over meals in the Caf, bonded with girls on my floor during devos, and had deep conversations about God’s love with peers, I began to feel a sense of comfort. I realized I was not alone in my journey of living day-by-day. This not only gave me a sense of belonging, but it also showed me that God is giving me the privilege of living one day at a time and walking alongside friends who are doing the exact same thing.

During my first five months on campus, such sweet memories have been formed. I look forward to the memories yet to be made during this new semester. My comfort zone is surely to be stretched as I walk each day, and I have no doubt I will experience feelings of fear, uncertainty, and even some questionings. However, the beauty of faith is that we can give these feelings of distress to a God who knows exactly the plan He has for us.

A good friend recently spoke to me of God presenting life to us as a rough draft. God places passions in our hearts to drive us, a purpose in our lives to inspire us—yet, oftentimes He withholds the full picture of His plan for our lives. This allows us to TRUST Him for the details through our moments of fear and uncertainty, and ultimately provides an even GREATER testimony to share with those around us of what we couldn’t do on our own.

If you’re struggling with seeing the “big picture” of God’s plan, I encourage you to trust that He is working ALL things together for your good. Whether it’s selecting a college to attend, or choosing your life’s direction, know that His peace will flood your heart as you give your dreams to Him.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” –Philippians 1:6