Thoughts on Seasons in Life and Why Our Perspectives Matter

The other day, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in several years at a local market. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. We chatted for a brief moment, simply answering a few questions back and forth. It was surface level. We didn’t go very deep or share our life stories from where we last left off.

Ever since that encounter, I have been replaying one of my answers over and over again in my head. When asked how I was doing, my immediate response was,

“I’m in the best season I’ve had thus far.”

As I got back into my car and headed home, I was slightly confused,

“The best season?” I thought.

This year was completely terrifying and exhausting. I laughed at my response, but I laughed out of joy. The kind of joy that clearly displays the major work God has done in my heart in the recent months. To be able to look someone in the eye and give that answer so automatically, and sincerely, was a very big deal for me. I was completely floored, quite honestly.

You see, it’s not that everything is perfect in my life right now. I am in the best season of my life only because God has touched me in a way that has changed my perspective. It has been awful, I have cried a lot, and I may even cry again after I post this. There I said it.

The difference is that I am continuing on. I am continuing on and not using anything unhealthy to cope or self-medicate this time. That alone is HUGE for me. My sense of self worth has been reestablished in a way that I have never experienced. I am learning how to say yes to what is truly beneficial, and to say no in the face of conflict.

God truly saved my life this year, and though there is still much to walk through, I am not the person I was. I want to live every year in this way. To see each season of life through the eyes of eternity and as opportunities for growth.

There will be more hardships and tears down this road, but this isn’t the end. Though there are going to be many painful moments in the future, I know one thing for sure:

The road is rich and full of His love and companionship. Though all others may fail me, I will never actually be alone.

Blessed Are the Hungry

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6

It is impossible to comprehend the height and depth of God’s love for His people.  The little glimpses that we have caught are so spectacular and wondrous, yet what we are capable of seeing isn’t even surface level.

Even so, He tells us that when we seek Him, we will find Him.  He says that if we hunger and thirst, we will be satisfied.  There is always another angle, another layer to this God who is never-ending.  This God who makes Himself so accessible and available.

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” – Jeremiah 33:3

We have been in Iceland for four days [I think?], and so far I have rested more here than in well over a year.  I am grateful to the Lord for bringing me back.  Not only is He moving upon those who came to attend the conference, but He is moving upon our entire team.  Bringing refreshing rest, new experiences in Him, and lets face it . . . this is pretty much the most epic of all vacations.

It has been wonderful to reconnect with many of the beautiful people who joined us last year.  It is encouraging to see their hunger and excitement for more of God.  We are staying in Eastern Iceland, in a more rural area.  Most of the attendees have come quite the distance to be here.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

During the first few sessions, we have been sharing a lot about what it is to walk in the glory.  The idea that we were created to live in freedom.  Right here, right now.  To walk in the fullness that He has for us.  On earth, as it is in Heaven.  Not by our might, not by our power, but by His Spirit dwelling inside of us [Zechariah 4:6].

The gifts that He bought for us with His sacrifice are often the very gifts that we never fully receive.  We tend to limit God to work within our own limitations.  We tend to tell Him what our worth is rather than listening to what He says about who we are.

It is okay to dream big and crazy dreams.  God desires to stretch us beyond our own abilities.  When we are in a place where we are beyond our own abilities, He is able to step in and empower us to walk in the impossible.

It really wasn’t long ago when I would have been quite terrified to do some of the things I’ve been doing in the last few days.  To get to this point I have had to walk directly into some very uncomfortable and awkward situations, and I am so glad I did.  I am so glad because the adventures that I wound up on, through those moments of stretching, have brought me into places that used to seem impossible.

We need to trust that God is who He says He is.  We will never be disappointed if we keep our focus on Him and not on the things that are happening around us.  All of creation is waiting for us to rise up and start living the way we were born to live.


Moving with God and Allowing Him to Become Everything

In eleven days I will be adventuring back to Iceland.  Once again, I will be traveling with His Glory to the Nations to minister at a conference.  Our team consists of four members, and we are all thrilled to see what God has planned for our two week visit.  I intend on keeping you all updated with blog posts, photos, and videos.

Leading up to the day of our departure, as with any other trip, I have quite the list of things to get done before we leave on the 20th.  It’s been a combination of getting my house in order, starting to throw things into my suitcase, and buying those last minute items that I know I will need while I am away.  At the same time, I am making sure that I focus primarily on Spiritual preparation.

My heart is earnestly seeking the Lord for vision and insight into what is burning in His heart.  For the people we will be crossing paths with in Iceland, in the airports, as well as everywhere else I find myself in the next eleven days [it is good to stay in the present, regardless of how much excitement resides in the future].

What a good God He is.

How wonderful it is that He allows us to partner with Him.  This God who never changes.  This God who is always moving.  He doesn’t stop moving when we do.  He continually invites us to come along side Him and move to the rhythm of His heart.

I hear so many people say that it’s been a long time since God has moved in the way that they used to experience Him.  I hear so many who are weighed down because they don’t feel Him and He seems so far away.

We have songs, we have prayers, books, classes, movements, that promise an end result of some type of supernatural change.  How to get closer to God, how to hear His voice, how to know His will.  All of those things can truly enrich our walk and cause us to grow deeper in our relationship with God.  But . . . have we spent too much time and energy in our methods that we burn out before we ever make it to the actual Source [God]?

There is so much disappointment.

There is so much complacency.

I have seen these things in myself, which is why I am feeling the need to write these words.

It is easy to fall into the rut of when God moves, I will move rather than face the fact that we don’t control God’s movements.  He is always performing miracles, always rescuing people out of their pain, always moving, always loving,

always

being

Himself.

If something changes, we can know for certain we are the ones who have changed.  It is up to us to move with Him.

I am challenging myself to intentionally seek Him, as each new day begins,

“Lord, have Your way in me today.  I want to move with You.  I don’t care where I am or who I am with, I invite You to influence and impact every single second of this day.  Remind me of Your presence.  Let Your face always be before me.  Let Your words always be on my lips.  Open my eyes to see Your glory.”

I am not talking about walking away from God.  I am not talking about living a life of blatant disobedience.  I am talking about losing our wonder.  I am talking about getting sidetracked.  I am talking about those moments when we get so busy doing the things of God that we find ourselves falling asleep praying at the end of the day.

It is easy to get so busy and involved in our methods that we hardly interact with God.  In a world with so many voices, He needs to be the first voice that we listen for.

Someone once told me,

     “Don’t be hard on yourself, I bet it touched God’s heart that you fell asleep talking to Him.”

I’m not being hard on myself.

I’m saying that the end of the day shouldn’t be the first time we interact with Him.

Years ago, someone I loved treated me with an “I’m saving the best for last” mentality.  Often times, they would go about their day without taking the time to talk with me.  It would be very normal for me not to hear back from them until I was in bed and asleep.  I didn’t feel that I was “the best saved for last”.  I felt like I was one last item to check off the list.  When carefully confronting them on the matter, and expressing my feelings, I only received more excuses.

Excuses are easy.

I don’t want easy.

When I think about that scenario and apply it to my walk with God, it makes me want to throw my cellphone, my camera, my computer, and everything else, into the pond located near my house.

     Nothing else matters if I don’t have Him. 

I tell Him that often, but do my actions tell it to Him as well?

He is my first and last.

He is my beginning and  end.

He cannot even be a priority.  Priorities are ranked and numbered.  Priorities can be switched around, sometimes without us even realizing it at first.  He cannot be a priority.  He cannot be the best saved for last.

He needs to be all.

He needs to be it.

Everything.

The only way He can be our everything is if we know Him.  When we truly approach Him, and invest time into knowing Him, nothing will be able to keep us from seeking Him out more and more.  It is natural.  It is not a method.  It is not legalistic.  It is not fear-based.

It is totally

and completely

founded

upon

love.

New Chapters

     Oh, hello.  I’ve been back from Iceland for a few weeks now—in case you were wondering, I did come back to the US!  I’m sorry it took me so long to write an update.  I realize that I left you hanging for almost a month, but I have honestly been having trouble finding the words.  There were multiple occasions where I would sit down and try to force a new post into existence, until I came to the conclusion that I would give myself some time to breathe.

     My time in Iceland was life-changing.  I know that is something most people say when they return from a ministry trip, but this trip was unlike any of the others I have taken.  Since I graduated high school, I’ve had the honor of visiting over half a dozen different countries.  Each trip was significant, in its own way, and has had a huge impact on how I see the world around me, and how I live out my faith.

     When I say that going to Iceland changed my life, I mean that it literally changed my life.  I mean that there were areas in my heart that God healed in dramatic ways.  He gave me a new perspective of His heart for me and began to take me back to situations in my past and bring closure.

     Closure.  That seems to be my word at the moment.  And as He has been bringing healing and closure into the deepest places of my heart, He continues to take me close in His arms, and whisper gently,

      “Your heart has been hurt and I see that.  I want to make you whole.”

     I’m letting go of things, I now realize, I had been holding onto for too long.  (Lord, I release my grasp.  I was never in control of those areas anyway.)

     Old chapters end.  New ones begin.

     I’m learning to let Him treat my wounds immediately, rather than wait until they fester and grow.  And it hurts.  It hurts unlike anything I’ve felt at times, but the pain will only increase if left untreated.

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     The deeper I let Him work, the clearer my vision becomes.  The things that were once cloudy come into focus, and some of it, perhaps, begins to make sense.

     The life that is found in death.

     The beauty that is found in the broken.

     The “more” that God promises

     that He has for those who take the risk

     to love Him and to trust Him with everything.

     I’ve written more songs in the recent weeks than I have in the last year.  It has almost been as if I cannot breathe without releasing a new lyric.  They come from the area where deep calls unto deep.  They are my dialogues with the Lord.  They are the desires of my heart put into melodies.  That said, the album that I was planning on recording is going to be put on the shelf for now, but I believe I’ll still have something out by January . . .

     This is where I am.

     I write this with a smile, and with tears streaming down my face.  Even though certain changes of late have turned my world upside down, the goodness of God fills my heart with joy.  A joy that strengthens.

     So, my friends, I am continuing to walk this path with my Father.  We’re taking it one day at a time.  I don’t have any agendas, big plans or itineraries planned out for the next couple months, or even beyond that.  My first priority is to seek His face and to hear His heart.  I don’t want to walk a single step ahead of Him.  To those of my friends who live in California, feel free to hit me up.  Many of you have expressed the desire to hear more about Iceland, and I’d love to catch up with you over a cup of coffee or something.

     I’d also like to say thank you to those who have been loving on me through encouraging phone calls and messages.  You know who you are.  I’m blessed to have friends and family like you in my life.  So blessed.  I love you all very much.