I hesitated to go back and read some earlier posts. I expected to cringe.
I sort of did. My nose scrunched up and constricted my breath … not because the writing was horrible. Rather, I forgot how much God brought me through in these last four years.
Jackson and I, December 2016~
My guys, August 2016~
God commands us to remember.
He directed the Israelites to commemorate their deliverance from slavery by His mighty hand with A Festival of Unleavened Bread, otherwise known as the Passover meal:
“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord – a lasting ordinance” (Exodus 12: 15).
The night before Jesus was crucified, He prepared the Passover meal for His disciples. Using bread a symbol of His body:
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).
Yes, we are not to live in the past yet remember His mighty rescue of us, from the tomb of sin. For it is only by the name of Jesus we can be free:
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
Today. This given day.
I am here to lift His name on high~
my arms outstretched toward heaven~
a new song of praise in my mouth~
a melody of prayer and thanksgiving~
my SELF as an offering~
In these last four years, God patiently stripped me down, peeling away layers of perfectionism, of shame, of pride.
Our family trip to North Carolina mountains, June 2018~
When I allowed Him past the steel walls erected out of fear to protect my heart … when He drew me to open, even just a little like a door whose handle can turn but a chain at the top stops its motion, He began to heal the broken places, the secret places, the ignored and forgotten places.
Jackson and I at the pool, Summer 2019~
If you have followed this blog from near the beginning, you too were witness of His work in me.
Our date trip at Rickett’s Glenn, 2019~
When God said write in December 2015, I obeyed. Not right away with the blog. I labored over whom I should write to. Then, lo and behold, God’s plan was for me to write to you!
In four years, this is the work of Christ in and for me:
~At about the end of year 1, a second blog was added, a place only for poetry. You can find that here https://faithhopeandpoetry.blog
~Two very special men in my life both followed this blog. My brother Jack, whom you heave heard less about. My husband Jason, whom you are familiar with 🙂
~I attended three writing conferences~
~I began writing a novel and a memoir~
~The outpouring of prayer between us … me, Jesus, and you the readers … it is beautiful. Though I don’t connect with each of you on an individual level, I pray asking God to use my words to bless you, teach you, give you what you need. Those of you who have reached out to me, to pray for me, to encourage me. I wonder when this happens what I did to deserve such kindness. Then Spirit reminds me of His grace by which we are all worthy and saved. There is no earning love with Him. It is unconditional, and freely given to those who seek Him, to those who love Him. I thank Holy Spirit for working here on the blog, connecting us across the miles, leading us deeper into Him.
In every prayer for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first days until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:4-6).
~Authenticity. You won’t get fake here. I struggled with this in the beginning of the blog, more motivated by wanting to please you the readers than pleasing God. As He healed those holes, peeled off the masks, my words flow from a sincere heart tied to Christ.
On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts (1 Thessalonians 2:4).
~Standing firm in my Christ-given identity. Four to six years ago, the wind tossed me, my ego was fragile, knowing who Jesus was but lacking in understanding how He is my everything. A sister in Christ gave me a copy of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers about the time I began blogging. Together with the Bible, this devotional has been life-changing. Oswald does not mince words. I learned so much about the way to fully surrender my life to Jesus, so that I can be who He made me to be. I am actually revisiting this very devotional now, four years later.
As I wrote this, thanking God for you all, thanking God for authors whose books/devotionals have and continue to help me grow, thanking God for His Word, thanking God for the privilege of writing and preaching … He reminded me of this:
God does not need anything, our help, our words, our love.
And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything. Rather He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25).
God desires our love, our relationship, our obedience.
If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15).
God is more than pleased when we abide in Him, giving Him the glory for His work in our lives and His work in the world around us.
Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me (John 15:4)
This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples (John 15:8).
Fruit, Lord, more fruit.
A way to thank Him for this past four years of blogging is to continue loving Him, obeying Him, seeking His help and wisdom. As I write with Him and in Him, this blog will bear more fruit for His Kingdom, for I expect God to work:
More hearts changed. Hallelujah!
More burdens released. Lay them and leave them!
More to receive the love Christ has already given. Look up, let His love in, Be His light.
More who will (re)turn to study His Word.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
Today. This given day.
I commit all writing and all speaking to my Lord.
Oh I pray He will teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
For, I am but dust. My life like grass, flourishing like flowers yet gone in the wind (Psalm 103: 14-15).
Well, I pray you all are having a peace-filled day. We live in a world full of people and FULL OF GOD, some who love Him, some who refuse to believe, some who are confused.
If you struggle to make sense of who God is or who Jesus is, please reach out to me by email or a trusted believer in your area. email@example.com.
Have you thought about starting a blog? If you have any thoughts about this post or your own writing, feel free to leave a comment here.
What in your own life do you need to remember of Him?
The actual blog anniversary is next week sometime. There is no shame here for celebrating a bit early 🙂
Love in Christ,