See A Little Listening

I told myself feelings are not facts and I do believe it.

Add that little saying to all the others, Lisa Anne, over time your happy heart will override your frenzied mind.

Will cushion the knowing that’s gonna grow you, will soften the edges of you, will be a plump pillow for your head at day’s end, sweet rest for the soul.

I listen to a whole lot of stuff when I’m walking, wisdom and or lyrical voices.

I’m particular with my listening, not my favorite thing to learn from tones that are “chipper”.

Cut out the pretty words. I crave what I already know, just need a voice confirming on a firmer note.

I’m down to just a few now, podcasts that are good fits for me.

Yesterday, I silenced my phone.

I paused the voice that was the same as so many with a similar exhortation.

I already knew. I already know.

I’ve got extra blank space now. I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much room in my thoughts for things to grow.

I’m challenged to accept the void of activity. I resist the not knowing what may be next or not come at all.

I walked bored with others’ knowledge and I saw the geese behind their mama all swimming in a row.

But, first I heard them, the rhyme and rhythm of their following along.

I paused then walked on.

I turned the steep sharp corner carefully and hearing a rattling engine moved to the far edge of the high grass.

I was prepared; but, not to be startled, an old van, a bearded tank top man and a head down in the darkness passenger in his midst.

“I’m walking.” I answered when he asked if I needed a ride and then added, “I walk everyday.” wishing I hadn’t added that and hoping he didn’t hear.

He drove away.

I approached the place where the Labrador loved to sit and I heard the croak of a frog off someplace and I remembered the creek of my childhood and those simple and yet complex days.

We walked every day. We took off to our simple shady quiet place.

I turned towards home and saw the bright blooms of summer, found the hidden key, let myself in and then double locked the door.

Later, I told the neighbor, I’ll be walking a new way, find cut throughs through yards. She said okay, suggested I leave one ear without music.

I told my husband.

He listened and agreed on new ways to get to the cul de sacs, the neighborhood and finally the trail I love.

I mentally made a plan.

I expected to be afraid in my sleep, awakened by the encounter of the ones in the old tagless used and beat up van.

But I wasn’t.

I considered the possible intent of the man and I am responding accordingly, not afraid,

Just informed.

I’m changing, I’m listening. I’m learning.

Feelings do not write your stories.

Listen more to what you are seeing now.

Your story was written so very long ago by the one who knows you now and then and in all the days to come.

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Notice the one who takes unending notice of you.

You, who God made fearfully and wonderfully well.

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Road Blurry

Maybe knowing God is better than knowing me.

I found this accidental photo just now.

Funny how it happens, happenstance making sense.

Last night the air cooled slightly after just a showering of a misty rain.

I walked, listening again to informative content on the number of me, the Enneagram 4.

I finished up my walk, showered, ate, settled on the sofa and with nothing else worth my time, watched college softball’s big game.

I’d seen a young woman earlier, she made it to collegiate level and now she tells me she’s expecting her third baby.

She continues to ask how I’m doing, what I’m doing,

how I’m feeling in my new role, “#goingbygrandmanow”

I tell her it has been an adjustment, some things not easy.

I add when I see baby Elizabeth all of my anxiety fades.

She smiles. “Oh, I forgot something!” she says in her excited and bubbly way.

We are standing in the crowded post office and she begins to talk about church.

She tells me about their sermon series and how it was suggested everyone find a “spiritual mentor”.

She has chosen me, says I was her first choice.

Of course I said yes and I’d call her for coffee and yes, we can talk about Jesus.

I was not prepared at all.

Should I have answered no, I wonder?

Should I have said “Oh, I’m not the one, you just don’t know!”?

Because I’m not feeling so suitable for such a place in another’s life now.

I walked and thought again about validation, understanding my tendencies a little more and thinking I should ask a professional…

Is this a breakthrough for me? Have I figured out something transformative and new?

Do I seek not only the validation of the positive of me but, also habitually choose the patterns I know that sustain the negative of me?

Thereby destroying any possibility that life can be different, can be better?

Is this typical I wonder, for anyone approaching 59, knowing 60 is just up ahead?

I believe we’re inundated with advisors and we are at a loss over whose truth to soak in.

Someone wants to edit my website, has a proposal she wants to present, claims she can make me more visible, increase sales, build my numbers.

A creative has seen my art, beckons me to join her next series of marketing courses. I consider, almost jumping in, signing up for yet another hope that feels false after a bit.

They’re a business after all, I tell myself.

I unjoined a writing community, yet the content continues to come.

And yet, writing and painting don’t hold the same place in my heart as before.

Have become like a chore.

This morning I made a list of concerns lined up with contentment, two columns, thing is nothing was listed under contentment at all.

Yesterday, I heard a mom talk of her little girl’s big girl dreams and goals. I smiled as I listened to how she was schooling her own mama in teaching her marketing strategy.

This child already knowing the value in believing she is capable and she can do anything when she combines her confidence with her courageous talent and selling of her self.

But, maybe it’s different for some.

Maybe I’m one of the some.

Maybe nothing more than now is the best place for me. Maybe I’ve blinded myself of the goodness of God by seeking what everyone else says is better.

What if we overwhelm ourselves with so many virtual mentors we lose ourselves in their midst?

God spoke to me this morning saying it is okay to consider the wisdom of others but you must never forget the wisdom you’ve found of me.

Your one story is now shelved because you have filled your mind with the details of so many others’.

Your fear has unintentionally buffered your courage.

So, there comes a choice to be made, slow down and take a breath.

Eliminate the unnecessary content.

Listen to God more than anything or anyone else.

It happens when you don’t deny the evidence of that.

A friend of your daughter says be my spiritual mentor and unknowingly prompts your return the place you had left.

The place where one person in this great big world sees you face to face and says I want to know the Jesus you know.

“Is that possible, do you think?” she asks.

And I answer, “Yes.”

It is possible.

I’m thinking of my grandmother this morning who was industrious and talented but rarely talked about her craft.

She created intricate Christmas ornaments from discarded jewelry. She boxed her creations up in big flat boxes and her work room was a dresser and a bed.

She made deliveries to people who paid her and I suppose she was known for her creations.

But, I never remember anyone encouraging her to go bigger, maybe put a sign up in the IGA or even an ad in the Statesboro Herald.

She provided what was requested of her. She was compensated, yes; but, only enough for what she needed.

She was content in the act of creating, it was her independent venture that I saw, that instilled in me the truth of possibility.

My grandmother taught me that being yourself is all you need.

Is there a book in me?

Will a gallery be inclined to display my art?

Will I be a better me or finally decide I’m enough as I am?

Content in the waiting as I rest in what comes not forced or rushed and be amazed by paths crossing and opportunities that unfold unexpectedly.

Next week or the next I’ll have an iced coffee with “Sam”.

I may tell her what a mess I was when I saw her or I won’t.

I may just tell her what I was learning on that and any other day.

Learning that the advice I need is found in the quiet place beside my bed or in the wide sky, the bending road or in the palms of my beautiful granddaughter’s hands.

God is everywhere, I will tell her.

Continue and believe, I might add.

Knowing God is better than better knowing me.

Learn as you go.

I’m on the morning road to my daughter’s, her husband’s, Elizabeth’s home.

The fog is lifting.

Remembering the thing that God just told me, an awakening of sorts and how one day I may tell Elizabeth or not.

How her grandma began to come into her own…

Maybe just live it intentionally for her to see.

Rest in this self awareness you’ve so keenly acquired and continue now easily into the you God has always known.

Discard all calculations to change your course or set new direction.

Become who you were becoming the very day you were born, God’s unique and capable child.

It is well with your soul.

It is well.

Towards What is Yours

A life lived reluctantly is not what God has in mind for any of us.

Paul reminded me this morning in a passage that’s a paragraph with multiple underlines from a time and times before.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.

But one thing I do:

forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12-16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Beckoning me to remember who I was before when I’m disappointed in who I am now.

Reminding me it’s not at all easy, otherwise he’d not have used words like “pressing” and “strain”.

Paul’s words are true and valuable, validation for me that I’m not who I was before.

He wrote that God will let us know when we think otherwise about what is most important, the “upward” call, the movement of our motivation based on our relationship with Him.

Look up, Lisa Anne.

Look up and move forward, learning even more than what you thought was enough so far.

Learn from the pressing, the straining, the uncomfortable rub of life that is making new wine from your bitter grapes.

Continue and believe.

Continue towards the goodness that is yet to be fully known.

Secrets and Growth and Peace

I believe God is pleased that we think of Him, ponder, consider His ways.

“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

That’s just another example of His grace.

I believe God sees our gradual growth and celebrates rather than pontificates over why on earth has it taken her so long to arrive here, why can’t she stay in this place?

I believe God is simply happy to see our return, our return to believing that He knows.

I’m certain that morning is the most optimum time for gentle instruction.

I’ve not a clue as to why I woke up this morning with the question to myself.

How are you waking, with regret or redemption?

Why, oh why must I wake with such deep considerations?

Or maybe we all do, just keep them to ourselves.

Makes good sense, your brain filters your thoughts all through the night, transfers them to the place where the finished and important product, a lesson is delivered.

Voila’! Here you go! This message is just for you! God

Are you smiling now, imagining God saying “Voila'”?

Me too.

I think sometimes I think the oddest things and then realize there is always a reason.

A secret waiting to be revealed.

To be researched, to be determined what it is exactly God wants me to know, to hold on to as my own.

Wants me to u-turn, don’t go back that way, you were progressing, see now…stay here.

Be at peace.

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬ ‭ ESV

Someone called this morning by accident. Her Bluetooth dialed the wrong Lisa. I knew her voice, thought Lord have mercy, did I call her and forget I did?!

But, I hadn’t and she reminded me of our relationship which led to me telling her what I’m doing now, hoping to use my grant writing skills to work with causes I believe in.

And that led to her telling me she had “chills” now because of an idea she has to strengthen the cause she is over.

We talked about it further and even longer about our faith, about how God wakes us to new opportunities every day and how none of them are accidents.

I considered her truth.

She considered mine as I shared with her my waking thought, regret or redemption, which will you choose to frame your day?

She said “Oh, that’s wise.” “Thanks”, I said and thought, thank you God for this confirmation of my next steps and direction.

Of letting some things go unattended to give my energy to what is new, even unseen, sort of brewing.

So, what is this state of mind and heart called “spiritual maturity”?

It is waking with regret less often in light of your redemption.

It is waking with the clear and attainable path towards peace.

It is recalling the stuff you felt God telling you to do afraid even if there’s fear in the room because there’s a reason you don’t know that God wants you to go, to be something He sees as necessary for others in the room.

He has us go places we don’t understand.

It is being attentive to a nudge that becomes a lengthy pause because you are still enough to become more wise, to receive either good or disappointing clarity so that your peace is not stolen and so that you grow.

That’s redemption, my friend.

Understanding what it is that is the taker of and opposing force of your peace.

Spiritual maturity is a splendid and secretly personal gift.

It is a fervent fire inside kept alive by your yearning to learn more, know more of God.

It is an acknowledgment of better days, contented minds, and restful nights because of your redemptive choice to forgo regret.

It is knowing you are still growing. It is glimpses of the secret place, the view of you through God’s eyes.

Smile.

It is not always easy, nor is it difficult at all.

The secret for me, intentional choosing which thoughts I allow to write scary, hurtful and impossible to understand stories.

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

To set my mind on the awakening things of my mornings.

Lord, help me to stay quiet enough to know which way to stay my thoughts and which way my words and work should go. Because of your redemptive mercy towards me, Amen

Give Not Get

Today I give you a story you might never know.

Were it not for me reading three books at a time, one called The God Dare by Kate Battistelli, a second called Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist and the third, the book called Ephesians written by Paul.

I’ve just finished a just right omelette, fluffy pillow of egg with the soft insides of spinach and melty oozing cheese. On the side a good tomato as if straight from the vine, peppered generously. Enjoyed every bit, a mellowed out mug of coffee with cream to complement.

I gaze over at the empty plate and think to finish Ephesians but remind myself of the three words that came in light of getting on with my life, vocation of some sort, art, writing and family.

Give not Get.

I thought again.

I’m brave now, hearing God daring me to pay attention and say things He has for me to say.

There was a time I ate everything I could get and then ritualistically and yet uncontrollably used my unwell techniques to get rid of it all quickly.

I was not well then.

I’m close to weighing the same as my husband. I felt lighter yesterday, paused to see the flatness of my belly in the bathroom mirror and took a chance…decided to step on the scale.

Wrong!

You weigh the same, the same as last week and more than last month but not as much as that one time before.

I remembered the book about the bread and wine and not a mention three chapters in of calories or gluten or exercise.

Only stories of times around tables and splendid descriptions of food eaten with abandon, life and love.

Food freely given, not grasped for or grabbed to be hidden, hoarded in a get it now or never again kind of way.

Stories like my story this morning, a quiet acknowledgment of noticing my finished breakfast.

Oh, this is good…this life I get to live, have been given, it is good.

Given not taken.

We get new chances every day, to pick up where we left off, to make choices not to go back to old ways.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

To live as grace givers, savoring, trusting the flow of good things and graces.

We have known the gift so that others might know.

We give what we’ve been shown.

My “God Dare” today?

Writing about not eating, about not keeping what I ate because that was all I felt I could control.

A sum total of about 10 years of my life given to anorexia and bulimia.

Close to 25 years now, not thin but healthy.

What’s in front of you that feels insurmountable, that lessens your existence, that self-imposed struggle that sickens your body and soul?

We are created as God’s workmanship, we inhabit His spirit.

He gives life, life meant to be unfathomable in measure, the width, breadth and depth of it all.

I picked up Bread and Wine from the back stack of bargain books and already it has given me more than any book on diet or grace or shame has ever given.

Like its author, pregnancy (thank you, HB!) changed me, pregnancy saved me from my disordered eating.

I wish the change had come sooner, my hard fought recovery not at all sudden or easy, but cushioned by God’s grace.

It took becoming pregnant to finally say to the world, I’m hungry. My first pregnancy shifted so many aspects of my understanding of my body and with it, shifted my view of hunger…I could claim hunger on behalf of my baby, and that small step might as well have been a mile for all it unlocked inside me. Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine, a love letter to life around the table with recipes

In the book, is the question, What’s your last supper?

Mine?

Spaghetti thick with basil sauced tomatoes galore sprinkled with freshly shaved parmesan and bordered by thick buttered bread.

My cousin Vickie’s salad I can’t replicate on the side.

A glass of red wine as we recline and later gelato, the real kind that tastes like a coffee with just enough chocolate, a dollop of whipped cream to crown it!

Now, what’s for lunch? What’s for supper? Are the good watermelons ready?

Will we be fancy today, my daughter and I or will it be Chick Fil A?

Vulnerable Afflictions

I read the response of another the other day… “Who would you like meet?” His answer was “Jesus.”

And then another in a different place, oddly the same question posed. This person answered “Paul”.

Paul, the writer of, with certainty, eight books of the New Testament. Paul, who was a horrid man who was known as Saul who met Jesus and commenced with the telling of his truth from there.

At some point, I pencilled in clarification on a passage.

The verse describing the life of Jesus in me,

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We carry around in us what Jesus died to save us from, our human tendencies, our vulnerabilities, our bends towards atrocities even. We carry with us the humanity of us and we simply seek to lessen its hold.

Paul knew who and what He had been. He celebrated when the “outwardness” of him was being overshadowed, wasting away by the developing of the inner him, Jesus in him.

He was focused on eternity and driven to tell others so.

That was his story line, the telling and retelling of his rescue for a purpose story.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:16-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The words I wrote in the margin are barely visible, words forming a question about my own vulnerabilities and the display of them making me more aware of the human me… a gradual revelation, the changes to the heart of me.

I won’t say I’ve come a long way. I just know I am not the same, not who I was.

The same as Paul.

The margin as of today has a sketch of a girl in repose.

She sees how far she’s come and she knows she has a big part in how far she will go.

The coming to terms with her story being incomparable to any other.

She cares less although not quite enough yet about herself as she does others.

What’s your story?

She is accepting that her part is just to keep telling in written and painted creation, occasionally or eventually maybe before an audience or in a small circle.

Who knows?

We will not know fully unless we go, simply go forward to the places we get to glance back on and say,

I did it.

I kept going.

My story is not so scary as before, not so tinted by affliction colors.

Stronger.

Strongly, we step forward.

We leave behind us for others, through our stories.

We just prompt another to wonder.

We cause them to consider why we believe in something we don’t yet fully know, why we yearn to keep learning.

And given opportunity, we answer to tell,

We believe because believing is the closest thing to hope.

And because we our story of before, all of our vulnerabilities and afflictions only mercy references and notes for the rest of our story.

Believe and continue.

Gonna Be Okay

It may be just me.

I caught just a bit of the Billboard Music Awards last night.

Flipping channels and asking myself, why do I even watch television anymore? I’m out of so many loops, especially those about thrones and people who walk around dead.

I’ll watch “A Chef’s Table” fascinated by the stories of phenomenal cooks or HGTV, try to guess which house they choose.

I am drawn to seeing a little of people, somehow drawn to knowing them from their facial expression or their conversation.

I’ve always been this way.

So, I paused in my channel flipping.

Kelly Clarkson announced that Lauren Daigle would be next to perform her breakout crossover hit, “You Say”.

It’s a song really for everyone and I abhor conflict so I’m not too fixated on how people are angry over her crossing over in lots of ways and in places she’s been invited to sing her song.

Her song is an anthem, one meant for all.

So, I watched and listened as her voice began, coming in at the right time prompted by the crystalline sounding piano intro.

She started softly, a little reserved or nervous.

Shaky it seemed she was.

It was a live performance and it seemed to me she felt a bit hemmed in.

Awkward even as she continued.

She continued into the chorus backed by three singers who as they added their echo their reply to her “and I believe!” , their arms raised up in rhymes, like a self embrace.

They, it seemed were each owning, demonstrating and saying to the world.

I believe.

As she continued she grew stronger it seemed to me, more free, more her and more confident of her calling on this different than her usual stage.

I scanned the audience. Many were connected to her performance. Other faces seemed not to understand, either questioning what is the message of this song or

Maybe they felt a sense of being loved by her being there, her singing her song she is now known for.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”

‭‭John‬ ‭13:34‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Maybe there were cynics. Maybe there were those who had no idea who and what she was referring to when she sang her statement lines:

Taking all I have now and I’m laying it at your feet. You have every failure God, you’ll have every victory.

Maybe some wondered what in the world does that mean?

Or wait, I thought this song was about believing in yourself or having a relationship with someone who says you should.

It does.

The song ended with an noticeable “ohh” in Lauren Daigle’s raspy tone.

It was a worthy ending as if to say, from my perspective at least, I’ve done this God.

I’ve performed the song you gave me on this huge scary stage.

I have gotten through this. I was scared as I started; but, you helped me through.

You helped me continue and finish the thing you aligned for me to do.

Maybe others didn’t see what I saw. That’s okay, I was impacted by her presence and her performance.

In case you’ve not heard or need to be reminded, here it is:

You Say

Prompted me to know I’ll be put in places I might be afraid to go.

I will go.

God will be with me.

It’s gonna be okay.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to pray the prayer for families at this evening’s National Day of Prayer event. I was asked I was told because of my lifetime of working with families.

I do not know what my prayer will be. I am imperfect in my own family experiences. I could freeze as I’m introduced, thinking what if everyone knows how I haven’t always been a prayerful girl, mama, wife or woman? I could have the words choke me when I try to summon them up. I’ve been a single mama, not always the best one at it.

But, just like Lauren, God sets the stage, we just step forward.

About a month ago, I was interviewed by a local magazine about my choice to retire. The question was posed “What do you want your grandchild to know?”

I answered

I want my grandchild to know that the most important thing is love, is loving one another.

A couple of weeks later the request came, that I pray the prayer for families. It was followed by a letter with the agenda and the header on the letter featuring 2019’s theme.

Love one another.

There are no accidents with God.

There are no opportunities brought our way that He will not equip us to carry out.

You and I are loved by a loving God. A God that takes hold of our shaking hand until we can breath without pressure and waits until we are ready to speak, to sing, to pray.

I believe what you say of me!

It’s gonna be okay.

Foes and Footstools

I have just a few blooms left of the farewell lilies.

I picked the withered petals, adding water to preserve what’s yet to bloom, like life still good to come from what has and is fading.

We can be confident that our God is always good.

Psalm 108 ends on a confident note, David says he knows that with God all of our victories are valiant ones.

Then the mood shifts. It’s sort of heavy and negative.

It’s real.

It’s about our foes, not just physical enemies, it can be circumstance, unforeseen change, opposition we sense or walk around carrying in our souls.

Enemies are not just people, they are the stuff of our negative stories, the ugly and sad of an imperfect world.

The struggles that come with intent to steal our peace.

Psalm 109 is an outspoken plea for help from God from David in light of his accusers, those who were attacking him through deceit.

I read it and sense David’s frustration and defeat. It is not easy to read as he asks for God to intervene to not allow blessing to come near his foe, only curses. David’s words are an outcry to God, a totally honest plea…asking God “do you see all that is happening to me?”

I love, love, love this honesty!

Psalm 109 ends with praise as if to say thank you God for letting me get that off my chest, don’t you worry, I am praising you anyway!

Could David have felt like me, honestly, God I promise to do my best?

Maybe.

With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise him in the midst of the throng. For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death. Psalm 109:30-31‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And then, Psalm 110 keeps on teaching us how to live undefeated. It begins with a reminder to be patient, a reminder that He is near and that He sees it all.

“The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” Psalm 110:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m smiling now because all I can think is sit down now, take a deep breath, put your feet up. I see you.

Rest.

#continueandbelieve #heknowsmyname #godisincontrol

All Promises Forgotten

There’s a wide empty field there. An expanse of open where the sunbeams fall in different ways through the trees.

A sound sometimes catches me, a squirrel, a bird or so soft it could be just the movement of the weeds.

Yellow pops of joy on top of tall green.

I consider this midpoint on the trail, the level place before I shift to jog and then struggle up the sudden steep place of a curving hill.

Then round the corner, oh it feels so free!

I am effortless, I swoosh past the houses. I careen.

There is no easy stride without the one that requires an inward decision to keep going.

There is no bliss over arriving finally without the questionable continuing your journey.

Today is the day between the dark death of Jesus Christ and the glorious morning a mourner discovered the empty tomb.

Today is the middle day, the day marked by all promises forgotten.

Jesus told them it would be so.

A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me. Jesus, to the disciples. John 16:16

‭‭

Yet, it was so very hard to believe.

The miracle of it all.

I believe.

Much of life gets hard when we are in between. This morning I read that God keeps all of His promises.

I’m prone to worry over whether or not that could be true for me, that’s the human in me as was the human in Jesus.

In the garden he prayed, if it is possible for me to achieve what is your will for every human, the creative works of your hand, if it is possible,

Father, God maybe you have another plan.

“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:41-42, 45-46‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In what ways have you suffered?

What memories have you that represent redemption, foster continued hope?

What years of depression and dismay have you survived?

Here’s an example from my Instagram on yesterday:

Why I believe in redemption. I open the mail thinking it’ll be just a copy of my diploma, instead it’s an emotional chronicle of about 10 or so years. I lost my art scholarship, came home to try Georgia Southern. Some things happened because of me and to me. In 1982, it ended, Academic Suspension. 10 years later, I began again and graduated “In Good Standing”. #thecolorsofmybible #redemptionstory #nevertoolate #beginagain

Everything is restorable.

Struggle yields hope.

What is meant to destroy, through Christ, seeking His will, pairing it with human discipline and determination, is a redeemable starting point for a story.

I’m not who I was.

Happy Easter weekend.

Continue and believe.

God Believes in You

April’s newsletter is the first in a series of seven stories of how nothing is wasted with God, stories of women redeemed.

It begins like this…

When you didn’t or don’t now see evidence of Him, He sees you. When you knew very little of Him or forgot all you knew, He knew and knows you. When your hardships enslave you, cause fear and dismay, God cares for you. When harm came your way and it seems nothing or no one intervened to prevent it, God kept you, protected you. 

 I know this to be true. I am here to tell.

So are you.

Lisa Anne Tindal