What About You Wednesday | My Mom

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Today is very special as we welcome someone very dear to my heart! In honor of this being her first week of retirement, and her 30th wedding anniversary being June 22nd, today we are welcome my mom to the blog. Let’s step into her season…  

What season of life do you currently find yourself in?

“Encounters generally begin with, “Hello!”   They end with “Good-Bye.”     In the past years, however, my experience has been the reverse: “Good-Bye….followed by “Hello.”

As a parent, releasing your children to college and beyond is one, big tearful “Good-Bye.” (It’s bigger than the tearful good-bye at the Kindergarten door!) Obviously, it is not a permanent departing, but the change of the parent/child relationship.   From the day of his/her birth, a parent’s objective is to prepare that child for adulthood, for that step into maturity, for that day of departure.   As they leave for college or career, it is time for letting go and saying good bye.   The next goodbye is far bigger and more permanent (because, somehow, once they leave for college or career, they always seem to find their way home again)!   When God brings that man or woman into your son or daughter’s life as a marriage partner, and you are sitting at the wedding listening to them repeat their vows of commitment for life, let me tell you, that’s one very HUGE good bye!

All of the good-byes have been followed by joyous hellos! HELLO to the new college friends and roommates. How enriching to share in the lives of godly young people who mean so much to your child.   HELLO to the wonderful man who loves your daughter and has chosen to care for and nurture her for the rest of her life. HELLO to the precious young woman who has brought out all the wonderful qualities you always knew were part of your son. Anticipating the joining of their lives in marriage is a great hello.

As a daughter I have said good-bye to my dear father. He waits in heaven for mom. Certainly it won’t be long until we say our earthly good-bye to her, too.   With those good-byes is the promise of the greatest HELLO imaginable when my Savior says to me as well, “Welcome Home!”

As a wife I say goodbye to 30 years of memories and experiences, and hello to the years ahead with the amazing man from Killyleagh, Northern Ireland, that God chose to be my husband.

As the student data specialist at an elementary school, I have said good-bye to students, their families, my colleagues and friends of twenty years. Walking through the cafeteria on that final day, it became so real. I was saying good-bye to the career and life I had known for so long.   Good-byes are so often accompanied by tears of joy and sadness.

However, I now say HELLO to opportunities that are yet unknown. There is a sense of great freedom and anticipation of the next years of my life. The possibilities for service and “hello” are endless.”

What is God teaching you/revealing to you during this season?

“God is faithful to His promises. He said there would always be summer, winter, spring and harvest. There would always be seasons.   Each season of the year is marked by very distinct qualities. The trees, the sun, the animals all have an inner sense that it is time for the change. (Don’t we sense it, too?) How boring if everything stayed the same! We would miss the breath-taking beauty of the spring blossoms, the warm healing of the summer sun, the crackle and rustling of brown and yellow and red leaves underfoot, and the awe-inspiring splendor of a winter storm.   I am grateful that we experience seasons in our individual lives. We need the changes that the years and circumstances bring. We grow and stretch and learn and serve in different ways.   We say good-bye…but then we say hello again!   God has shown me that we “know” when it is time for the season to change.”

How have you/are you changing in this season?

“I’m relaxing! It still seems just like “summer vacation” from school. I’m sure the season of “retirement” will be more definable when school starts again.   I’m not panicking about what I am going to do with my time.   I normally want it all planned out and organized, but I’m learning to slow down. “In His Time” the steps will be made clear.   I know that retirement is God’s will for now. I frequently remind my daughter of the truth of a song that says God has a will. Our need is to rest in it, nest in it, fully be blessed in it. I’m trying to take my own advice! I’m anticipating all those new hellos!”

What encouragement would you share with someone in a similar season?

“Say good-bye to your children with open arms!   They need to know that you have confidence in them and that you are always there for wisdom, advice and support. Empty nest is really not bad. It’s a good season!  (And for you children, don’t forget pa and ma! Include them in your texting and emailing and make a phone call to each of them once in a while. Introduce them to your friends. Ask their advice. It makes a parent still feel needed J)

Thinking of retirement. Everyone told me, “You will know when it is time.” And you will!   As you prayerfully ask God to show you His will, He will make it very evident to you and will confirm, “This is the way; walk in it.”

A Prayer for My Mom…

 “Heavenly Father, thank You so much for giving me the perfect mom for me. Thank You that I can also call her my sister in Christ. Thank You for the season You have her in. Thank You for being aware of her and with her in this season. Thank You for the example she has been to me of a woman who fears You, seeks You, knows Your Word, and finds her strength in You. Thank You for the wisdom, support, unconditional love, patience, encouragement, and sacrifice she has shown me over the years. Thank You that when I had no friends and felt like I didn’t fit in, for giving me a friend in my mom. Thank You for giving her the perseverance to never give up on her children. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me through my mom. Thank You for the many lives she has touched in the many roles she has played. Thank You for the way she has honored her mother and father. Thank You for giving her the gift of hospitality and administration, things she has passed along to me. Thank You for enabling her to let me go. God, I pray that You would continue to reveal Yourself to my mom in new ways. I pray that her relationship with You would continue to flourish. I pray that as she slows down and seeks what You would have next for her, that she will be willing to do whatever You may have her do to further Your Kingdom. I pray that you will continue to help her release control and her desire to always to know the plan, and increase her trust, as she rests and nests in Your blessed plan. I pray that her and my dad would enjoy this new, sweet season of marriage, and learn even more of Your love through it. I pray that You would give my mom sweet friendships in this season. I pray that You would provide women younger than her for her to invest in. I pray that as she lets go, she will continue to hold onto Your promises. God, as our family grows, may my mom (and the rest of us) embrace new memories and traditions, while still treasuring the past. May my mom continue to see hellos and goodbyes as gifts of grace. May my mom never forget how much I love her, and that You love her even more. In Your Faithful Name, Amen.”

What About You Wednesday | Brittney

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Today we welcome Brittney to the blog! Let’s step into her season…

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Describe the season you currently find yourself in.

“The only phrase that seems to suffice the past two years and where I currently am is “The Assurance of Christ within the Change”. Of course a season and attitude of change is a constant and very necessary thing, but what I didn’t expect was that it would be so painfully beautiful. I began full blown vocational ministry right out of college, and through many joys and trials I have seen God move in crazy ways in the lives of myself and my faith family. From grieving hurts that come along with the progress of immense change in a church body, to seeing God have to remove people from positions to deal with sins or simply because He has another plan for them, the Lord has shown me so much about finding my assurance in Him.”

What is God teaching you/revealing to you during this season?

“It has been a long process in seeing what God has been teaching me in this season. Mainly because of my stubbornness. I don’t know if others do this, but this past couple of years, it felt like I just needed to keep my head above water. “Don’t sink Brittney, you have to keep going even when the waters around you seem to be crashing everywhere.” This was the mindset for a while and it was exhausting. The sweetness of God and His consistent character is that He doesn’t stop pursuing us and He deals with us with so much patience. In the book, “A Dangerous Calling,” Paul David Tripp sums up exactly what God has been revealing and teaching me during this season. “Either you will be getting your identity vertically, from who you are in Christ, or you will be shopping for it horizontally in the situations, experiences, and relationships of your daily life.” and “If you are not requiring yourself to get your deepest sense of well-being vertically, you will shop for it horizontally, and you will always come up empty.” I quickly became weary due to this “horizontal search for identity” and I finally recognized because the idol I had made to replace the perfect Savior was hope in myself and hope in other people. I found assurance in people’s approval, assurance in my morality, and assurance in my abilities, when all the while Christ was patiently guiding me to assurance in Himself.”

How have you/are you changing during this season?

“God has been moving me from the fracturing assurance in self to abiding in the joy-filled assurance of Christ. Even though I knew Christ was who I needed to abide in, I definitely wasn’t living out or understanding John 15:5 – “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, it is he who will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” God has shown me that the gospel frees me to obey and serve Him because He has first accepted me. My obedience and service is not a way to earn His acceptance. The way of working hard to keep my head above water, performing well, not screwing up, and gaining people’s approval is NOT the gospel. Honestly it’s pride. God has been breaking down that pride, making me dependent upon Him by allowing me to walk through a season of change filled with fear to make me realize that Christ is my only assurance. He is the only one who brings joy, peace, endurance and to the fact that I need Him in all I do. That seems like a “DUH” moment, but it’s huge. I am not sufficient! Brittney isn’t capable of holding her head above water. In the past two years I have felt like Peter in the passage in Matthew when he went to go meet Jesus by walking on water but was so quick to take his eyes off of Jesus, became afraid, and quickly began to sink. But in Christ’s sweet sweet grace He has reached out, caught me and spoke softly, “You of little faith” and then carried me in His security to show me truly who He is. That He is able and I am not. That He loves me enough to give me the strength and capability, things I sought in people who were incapable of supplying those things (myself included), to continue in what He has called me to do.”

What encouragement would you like to share with someone who is in a similar season?

“God cares about His people and He is a God of compassion. The idols we make out of people or our own abilities can never give you the assurance you desire or need. Only in Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit are we able to find assurance, strength, love, acceptance and joy within difficult situations. God is a good Father who never stops changing us into the image of His son. Let us all find sweet assurance in Him above all other tempting and sweetly-false things through every season of change.”

A Prayer for Brittney

Constant Father,

Thank You for Brittney. Thank You that You are aware of her and with her in this season. Thank You that You use change to change us. Thank You for using change to change Brittney, to make her look more like Jesus. Thank You for revealing to her the idols of others and self. Thank You for being the One who never fails us, never gets fed up with us, never needs time away from us. May the same gospel that saved Brittney continue to sustain her. May she continue to walk in freedom and do things out of adoration instead of obligation. May she continue to crave Your sweetness and long for more of You. Continue to help her to utterly depend on You. Instead of just doggie paddling to try and stay above water, may she sink into Your grace, may she drown in Your love, may she lose control only to rest in You. Help her to continue to abide in You and as she does May You bless the works of her hands. May her ministry, her life be fruitful because she knows you as the Vine. May Brittney rest in Your blessed assurance.

Amen.

What About You Wednesday | Krista

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Today we welcome Krista to the blog! Let’s step into her season…

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Describe the season you currently find yourself in.

“I currently find myself in a place of patient anticipation. Each year as winter comes to a close and spring is approaching, I get a bittersweet sense of excitement and discontentment. As the long, cold winter months come to an end and the spring bursts through with new life, warmth and hope, my heart always anticipates what a joy the next season will bring. And yet in the anticipation for the next season, my heart becomes weary in the waiting. I feel like that is my life right now. It has been a brutally cold and disheartening year, but I can see the springtime coming fast. I anticipate the Lord’s goodness in the time to come and CHOOSE DAILY to see Him working even now.”

(I just want to point out how symbolic Krista’s above picture is. The little white flowers look like the snow of the winter and the pink flowers shout spring.)

What is God teaching you/revealing to you during this season.

“The Lord has been so sweet to be patient in my doubting and untrusting heart. He shows me little bits and pieces of His plan and promises at the times that I need it most. He is gently teaching me to depend upon His grace and to trust that good works together for His children who faithfully love Him. A verse that I have been clinging to during this time is found in Lamentations 3:21-24 and it says, “But this I call to mind and therefore have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies are new each morning. Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, ‘Therefore I will have hope in Him!

I have also been taught through the loss of loved ones within the last year that our hope and satisfaction can only be found in the fact that eternity will be spent in the perfect presence of Jesus. All things good or bad in this world are fleeting compared to the eternity we are promised as children of God. Therefore all things should be counted as temporary here on earth, held loosely, knowing that the eternity that awaits us is the most high honor and greatest gift we could ever receive. This has kept so much in perspective of the urgency of the Kingdom for me. For the first time in my life, dying and going to be with Jesus is something I look forward to not something that I fear.’”

How have you/are you changing during this season?

“I have become so aware of my need of time alone and away from busyness. It is so funny because all throughout college I was a people-person, constantly surrounded by and interacting with a ton of people. However, now I see the great importance of being alone, internally processing with Jesus and using the ‘pray about it more than you talk about it’ concept. I have found it to be so peaceful and encouraging to grow in my relationship with the Lord in this way. My dependence on Him has been strengthened and my friendships have continued beautifully. I have learned to not fear being alone, but embrace it as an opportunity to draw near to the Father. Although, this is most certainly not always my initial attitude, keeping this in mind has strengthened my ability to rest during this season.”

What encouragement would you like to share with someone who is in a similar season?

“Whether you are walking through a season post-grad or are just unsure of where the Lord is leading in the time to come, be comforted. The Lord is faithful to complete the work that He began in you and He will surely do it (Philippians 1:6). Walk each day with faith in trusting that everything that the Lord has equipped you with for that day is exactly what you need to serve Him (Hebrews 13:20-21). He is working in the midst of our doubt and anxiety and will reveal His will in His perfect and beautiful timing. Be STEADFAST and HOPE in the faithfulness of our Father. Remembering that in all things, our purpose is not to serve ourselves, but to glorify the Father who saves, loves, redeems and chooses us to be His own.”

A Prayer for Krista

God, You are good. We thank You for working all things for the good of those who love You. Thank You for Krista. Thank You that You are aware of her and with her in this season. Thank You for Your faithfulness to her in the past. May she cling to the truth that You will be faithful again and again. Thank You for how You are using the waiting to increase her longing and hope for You. Thank You for using death to birth truth in her life, an urgency for the gospel, and a peace about Home. Continue to comfort her grieving heart. Thank You for being a God who can handle our doubts and our questions. May Krista continue to bring those and lay them at Your feet. For someone once said, “faith does not eliminate questions, but faith knows where to take them.” Thank You for the many lives Krista has invested in. Thank You for her kind and giving heart. Thank You for this season where she’s been able to pull back and come away and rest with You, receiving after giving so much of herself. May she continue to be strengthened in her alone time with You. As spring approaches, and the buds begin to bloom, may she be thankful for winter, for the time when growth was happening under the surface. As things begin to shoot out from under the ground, may she burst with joy. Although winter was cold and brutal, may she also remember the quiet, the stillness, the calm which winter can bring. And may she continue to hold onto those things even as seasons change. Thanks for loving us, Lord. Amen.

What About You Wednesday | Lindsay

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Today we welcome Lindsay to the blog. Let’s step into her season…

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What season of life are you currently in?

“The season of life that I’m in could be summed up in a couple of words: painful growth. I am coming up on two years of marriage, only a few months into my first “big girl” job, just recently bought a house, and am more comfortable in the material/circumstantial ways of life than ever before. But… I’ve been reminded that peace and contentment are so much more than these things. It’s been a neat reminder that no amount of success, love, or accomplishments can satisfy one’s heart.”

What is God teaching/revealing to you during this season?

“God is exposing the ugly and breaking my heart in the process. It’s so good, but man is it tough. I came into marriage with a ton of baggage, and I’m slowly sorting through it all. It sucks, if I’m being honest.”

How have you/are you changing during this season?

“As my ugly heart is exposed, I am then freed to walk in Grace. Knowing that, I feel like every day I have to make a choice. I have to choose selflessness and joy, in every aspect of my daily life. Saying that, I screw that up minute by minute, truly. But… I’m trying.”

What encouragement would you give someone in a similar season?

“Don’t give up. Don’t build up walls and let pride come in to make you believe that vulnerability and exposing your heart won’t be worth it. The more you open your heart to your spouse, family, friendships, co-workers, etc., the richer your relationships will become. Christ calls us to community for a reason. You can do it!”

A Prayer for Lindsay

Lord, You are good and You do good. Your glory is our good. Thank You for Lindsay. Thank You for being aware of her and with her in this season. Thank You for the way You have provided both earthly and eternal for her. As she transitions into a new house and a new job, show her how constant You are. Thank You for putting a longing in her that cannot be satisfied with earthly treasures. Continue to show her that only You satisfy. Thank You for seeing her as Your beloved, and not wanting anything unholy in her. Thank You for using marriage as an avenue to sanctify Lindsay. May she always remember that You are for marriage, that You are for her marriage. Continue to strengthen her marriage and help them to grow deeper in love with You so they can love each other better. Continue to tear down the walls she tries to put up by reassuring her that there is nothing she could hide that would separate her from Your love, so she has nothing to be afraid of. You see all, You know all, and Your grace covers all. May she take her sin seriously, repenting when needed and walking in the freedom of forgiveness. In Your Name, Amen.

What About You Wednesday | Ryan

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Today we welcome Ryan to the blog! Let’s step into his season…

  
What season do you currently find yourself in?

“As much as I’d love to say I’m not a typical young adult, I’m not able to meet my desire to break the mold and be unique. I’m transitioning! We’re typically tagged as transient. Young adults are seen as noncommittal, wishy-washy, and unable to endure the ebb and flow of anchoring in one job or place. And I wish I wasn’t smack dab in the middle of..not being smack dab in the middle of something. I love knocking stuff out, achieving, and clearing a to-do list. Right now I’m not feeling a whole lot of value being added by me in my new role, because it’s new!”

What is God teaching you/revealing to you during this season?

“This is probably a laundry list I haven’t finished figuring out, but I’ll settle for a few bullet points.

How can you minister to young adults if you haven’t experienced what you’re all going through?

The transition I’m in, the move I’ve made, the culture shift, leaving loved ones, stepping out in faith, etc. These are all things I’ve experienced in the last few months. The majority of people in my generation have endured steps like this. I’ve been quick to overlook the value of this page-turn in my story! God’s really teaching me a lot (you’ll see that in the next few lines) and will more than likely be using this to bless people in similar stages I’ll meet in the future.

I don’t know that much..again.

New opportunities are inextricably linked to a new need for new information and experience. So here I am, desperate to know more and have a better understanding of my city, my organization, my role, and even my identity (especially pertaining to my role). I’m almost helpless, a place I pridefully get away from as much as possible. Thusly, humility and patience have always been major pain points the Father loves frequenting with me.

Is your heart really set on My glory alone? 

In friendships, my dating relationship, and in my conflicts with work, I’ve been made very aware of my selfishness and pride. My sinful heart is so swollen with conceit lately and I hate seeing the pain it causes, the shame I experience because of it, and the lies the enemy tells to stroke my pride and to tear me down after pride has left me reeling. The question I sensed today was the aforementioned. I’ve fooled many people, and I believe I had even deceived myself, believing my heart had been postured humbly and wholly on the glory of God. This hit me this afternoon, and I’ve been hungry for the Spirit to whisper rich affirmation into and over me all day. I hate being confronted with areas of my heart that aren’t surrendered to Jesus, but I’m thankful He loves me enough to overlook my feelings. And I’m definitely ready to be on the other side of this little season of sanctification!

Apart from Me, you can do nothing.

I’ve always loved this piece of John 15:5, but I’m constantly confronted with how little I conform to it. The most beautiful part of the gospel is our union with Jesus. We aren’t just “made better”; He completely unifies us with Himself. Our new means of living is immutably attached to the life of Jesus. We are unable to function fully without Him. It pains me to ponder how much I attempt to live the life I’ve been given by Jesus without Him, knowing I’m not able to succeed aside from His aid, affirmation, and approach to situations. He’s so wise, so kind, and so patient, three things I would never be aside from Him. I’m so desperate for Him! …and I’m being reminded of that, to the point of actually submitting to it habitually.

Discipleship is all that matters.

The most important hill I can die on is the last command Jesus gave His followers after He died on Calvary. Everyone, regardless of age, education, career, or calling, is commanded and able to fulfill the most important investment in the Kingdom and ministry: discipleship. Jesus is a smart dude and grows all of His people through this command. Please consider who’s discipling you and who you’re discipling! If you claim to be a disciple of Jesus, let this area of your life reflect it!”

How have you/are you changing during this season?

“In taking this new role, I wasn’t most excited or anticipating the opportunities, platform, or accomplishments. I knew God was calling me to this, and I looked forward to character and personal growth. My character is being refined and my mind is being sharpened. This is so exciting, but it’s also pretty painful.”

What would you like to share with someone in a similar season?

“A few things are:

Being formed into the likeness of Jesus isn’t fun, but it’s worth it. Obedience isn’t always easy. Don’t overlook discipleship. Don’t forget Who your life is really about.

But most importantly:

Find your purpose, not just your job. Please know the difference. You were created for one; the other pays the bills. There should be overlap, but your purpose transcends everything and drives your life. Jesus crafted you to fulfill a purpose. Find it, and fulfill it.”

A Prayer for Ryan

God You are SO good! We marvel at the way You are moving, always working, always present in our lives. We thank You for Ryan. We thank You for being aware of Ryan and with Ryan in this season. We thank You for the way You use transitions and newness to rip us from our comfort and confront areas of our hearts that aren’t surrendered to You. Thank You for using this transition to do that in Ryan’s life. Thank You for the way You are pruning him. Thank You that pruning, although painful, proves profitable. Thank You for giving Ryan the desire to obey You. Continue to keep his heart sensitive to The Spirit’s conviction and leading. May the godly guilt Ryan feels continue to lead him to repentance and may his shame be swallowed in grace. As he continues in his new role, may he work under Your timing and not his. Help him not to feel entitled to see fruit fast, or at all. May he continue to be faithful in the little things, for those are the people You entrust with much. May he not work for his name, but for Your name to be made known, to be glorified! Teach him to walk humbly. May we all take to heart the call to discipleship. In Your Name, Amen.

What About You Wednesday | Alex

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Today we welcome Alex to the blog! Let’s step into her season…

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What seasons do you currently find yourself in?

“I’m currently in a season of transition; moving from one great place to the next, but feeling all of the growing pains. If I were to relate it to an actual season I’m literally in a TX spring: one day it’s sunshine and rainbows but come evening it’s tornado season”

What is God teaching you/revealing to you during this season?

“I’m being challenged to trust God in the unknown and recognize when He speaks. ”
How have you changed/are you changing in this season?

“I’m changing every day in this season! It’s so interesting as a woman to try to take hold of your thoughts AND emotions and test them against The Word. It’s definitely not easy, so it’s an active choice to believe that God knows best and that ‘He works everything out for the good of those who love Him.’ I’m slowly becoming more confident because my spirit is being tested and strengthened; but I’m also growing an awareness for the people and the needs outside of myself.”
What encouragement would you give someone who is in a similar season?

“Choose EVERY DAY to live on purpose. Do your very best with what God’s given you in your hand for this moment and ACTIVELY seek truth. Don’t let the opinions of the world, your friends or evening the random thoughts in your head tell you who your are or what is right. There is One Savior who clearly says ‘I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.’

And, you are not alone! Find someone who can walk with you through this season. We were created for relationship! Find wise (older) council to disciple you, and find some friends that you can be absolutely honest with.”

A Prayer for Alex

God, we thank You that You are the Keeper of Time and Arranger of Seasons. Thank You for Alex and the season she is in. Thank You for being aware of her and with her in this season. I pray that You would continue to give Alex discernment in hearing Your voice. I pray the other voices in her head will be silenced with Your truth. I pray when she does not have clarity that You will give her courage to step out in the direction she feels You are leading. I pray Lord You will protect her as she treads new paths. May she continue to seek You more than guidance. Continue to provide mentors and friends to walk this path with her. I pray she will not be afraid to feel certain emotions, for You are the Creator emotions. May she not label certain feelings “good or bad” but may You turn her feelings into faith. Show her even more of You. In Your Name, Amen.

What About You Wednesday | Ceci

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Today we welcome Cecilia (Ceci) to the blog! Let’s step into her season…

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Describe the season you currently find yourself in.

I would describe this season as preparation for what is to come, but still joyful!

What is God teaching you/revealing to you during this season?

After I graduated from my undergrad, my life really slowed down and I was ready for the next step. I was ready to get a full time job somewhere “cool” and be the grown up I thought you had to be after you get your bachelor’s degree. But God really slowed me down. He made me look into my heart and asked me personal questions that broke down my pride. “Why are you in a rush, Ceci?” “Who are you trying to impress? You already have all of My attention!” Since then, Abba has opened my eyes to see how much He has blessed me; He’s surrounded me with such an awesome community and people that I was willing to give up because I was in such a hurry to be this person He did not intend for me to become.

He’s also revealing to me what it’s like to have Him as a Perfect Father. This past Christmas, as I was traveling home, my suitcases were stolen out of my car. Most of clothes and shoes were there, and as a girl who really likes clothes that can be so heart breaking! But God is so sweet. He reminded me that material things are so easy to replace. And for a God who owns it all, it is no inconvenience to provide for His children. Today my closet is probably double of what it used to be because of the generosity of my family and friends. I don’t think that He allowed that to happen simply because He wanted me to have new clothes. I know God was (and still is) showing me that HE is the Provider, that nothing is too hard for Him and that He cares about every single aspect our lives, apparently even our stolen underwear.

How have you/are you changing during this season?

I’m becoming more trusting of God. I’ve also learned to slow down. There are definitely hard days in which I doubt what I should be doing because it’s hard not to compare our lives with others through cool posts on social media and whatnot. But the Holy Spirit always reminds me of His purpose. I’m learning that life is a process and things take time. I remember one night God asked me to wake up early to go on a walk with Him (I said, “how early are we talking about Jesus?”). Anyway, while praying He showed me two trees. One of the trees was really pretty and big and the other one was scrawny looking. But God showed me that the big tree once looked like that small tree, that growth is a process and it takes time. I think that basically sums it up; maybe God is turning me into a hippie or something.

What encouragement would you like to share with someone who is in a similar season?

One of my favorite verses is Luke 15:31 when the Father addresses the older son “‘My son’, the father said, ‘you are always with me and everything I have is yours.’” Sometimes we miss out on being relational with God because we’re so stuck on “what is the next step” or even the burdens of daily life. But I encourage you to invite Abba into your daily life. Being still in the Lord doesn’t mean being stagnant; it means to trust Him without going ahead of Him. Just ask the Holy Spirit to interrupt your life when it doesn’t look like what He has planned for you.

A Prayer for Ceci

Abba,

Thank You for Ceci. Thank You for being aware of her and with her in this season, teaching her more about You. Thank You for how sensitive she is to Your Holy Spirit. I thank You for all the gifts You have given her, for her tenderness in relationships and firmness in the truth. Thank You for her sweet, encouraging spirit. Thank You for where You have her at this very moment. She seeks to obey You God, show her the way, show her Your way. Guard her from comparison. May what she sees with her eyes on social media not go to her heart. In this seasons of preparation, help her to continue to see it as a season of purpose as well. Help her to know she is making a difference today, even in the mundane. May looking forward not distract her from what You have for her now. Help her to know she isn’t missing out on anything, because if You wanted her to be somewhere else, she would be. May she seek You more than answers. When she questions her purpose in life remind her that You are Purpose. Continue to speak to her in the waiting. Continue to romance her and provide for her. Continue to be her Joy. Thank You for providing underwear for us. Thank You for caring about every detail about us, God.

In Your Loving Name,Amen.