What Does Faith Really Look Like?

Is faith always a never-faltering, wild “Hallelujah!”?

I don’t think so.

I think faith is essentially this:  turning my face toward the God I love even when (especially when!) I’ve stopped expecting an answer and maybe even when my heart has despaired of help.

I would argue that faith is precisely that step forward into the dark unknown, onto the broken road, lifting  the unbearable heaviness as an offering and trusting that

God sees,

that He hears

and that He will not abandon me.

We’re all encouraged when we read through Psalms. But what did David endure to experience the depth of love he has for God? What kind of heart-shredding pain did he go through before understanding how real and present God was and just how much God loved him regardless of his brokenness?

Understanding the whole story of the Bible, it’s much easier to see that my brokenness has a purpose.”

~Laura Story, When God Doesn’t Fix It

faith-deliberate-trust

Repost: What is Required?

I am a strong proponent of reading ALL of the Bible, considering Scripture in context, studying entire books and digging deep to mine the truth contained therein.

But I think sometimes I am so enamored of finding something new I forget what I’ve already learned.

It’s easy to remain in pursuit of truth and yet dismiss the truth that I’ve aprehended.

I can fool my heart into thinking that learning is the same thing as living.

But it’s not.

Read the rest here:  Monday Musings: What is Required?

Repost: Monday Musings-Mercy

A precious sister-in-loss created this image.

It’s my theme song.

And the message of my heart.

Read the rest here:  Monday Musings: Mercy

Practice the Pause

Oh, how I need to learn to practice the pause!

I’m getting better, but still react when I should reflect.

I need to do this EVERY time.

practice the pause toby mack

 

Lord, help my stubborn heart slow down and give me grace to yield and allow You to melt it, mold it and make it more like Your own! ~ ❤

 

heart stone

Wounded Healers

I’ve come to believe that my wounds and the grace God has provided in my woundedness are not my personal possession.

God did not cause my pain, but He is redeeming it.  He is molding me into a different person than I would have been if Dominic hadn’t run ahead to heaven.  And that person has more compassion and grace and mercy and patience than the person I was before.

If I hide my wounds then I am hiding the hope He has hidden in my heart.  

I won’t do that.  

“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.”

Hebrews 4:14-16 MSG

Nobody escapes being wounded.  We all ar wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.  The main question is not ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we  put our woundedness in the service of others?’  When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.

Jesus is God’s wounded healer:  through his wounds we are healed.  Jesus’suffering and death brought joy and life.  His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought a community of love.  As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others.  ~ Henri Nouwen

brennan manning share our wounds

Thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he is our Father and the source of all mercy and comfort. For he gives us comfort in our trials so that we in turn may be able to give the same sort of strong sympathy to others in theirs. Indeed, experience shows that the more we share Christ’s suffering the more we are able to give of his encouragement. This means that if we experience trouble we can pass on to you comfort and spiritual help; for if we ourselves have been comforted we know how to encourage you to endure patiently the same sort of troubles that we have ourselves endured. We are quite confident that if you have to suffer troubles as we have done, then, like us, you will find the comfort and encouragement of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 PHILLIPS

Sharing our wounds makes us vulnerable.

When we allow ourselves to become vulnerable, we invite others to do the same.

But  in this community of mutual vulnerability, healing is possible.

Here’s a Hug

We ALL have bad days, fears, struggles and lonely moments.  Sometimes we just need to know someone cares.  Sometimes we just need a hug.

For those who are struggling today-here’s a hug.

hug laughing

For those who think they are unworthy of the breath they breathe and the space they occupy-here’s a hug.

hug mom and child

For those who are afraid that today won’t be any better than yesterday or the day before-here’s a hug.

hug boy and dog huffington post

For those who have absolutely no idea how they will survive the next five minutes, much less the next five hours-here’s a hug.

group hug huffington post

You are NOT invisible.  You are NOT worthless.  You are NOT unloved.

The God of the universe loves you.

He sees you.

He’s waiting for you and longs to shower you with grace and mercy. 

god is always listening

 

Still Put My Foot In It…

You’d think that being on the other side of untimely or even painful comments would shape my conversation so that I am not the one blurting out hurtful or thoughtless words.

Sadly, that’s not the case.

While I am much more careful about what I say and how and when I say it, I still put my foot in it on a regular basis.

I talk instead of listen-rushing ahead to share MY pain instead of sitting silently while someone else shares theirs.

I make comparisons instead of extending boundless compassion.

I focus too much on the words and not enough on the wordless communication of facial expression and body language.

I try to “fix” the problem or person instead of simply being present.

I overwhelm a hurting heart with too much information.  Even good information delivered from a firehose instead of a water fountain is unhelpful.

I interrupt, cut people off, turn away and shorten uncomfortable conversations.

I want to do better.

I want to be the safe space hurting hearts need.

I want to be full of grace and mercy and kindness.

I know I fall short, but I’m still learning.

still-learning