The Celebrating Soul

So This Is What Faithfulness Feels Like

A few weeks ago, I was discouraged. I found myself thinking,

“So this is what faithfulness feels like.” 

I didn’t like the feeling.

But a couple days later, I had another thought. . . a better thought. . . a healing thought–

“So this is what Faithfulness looks like.”

The Faithfulness here refers to God. The God who parted the Red Sea and healed the heartbroken woman who was sick for 12 years. The God who kept His promises while humanity broke trust, violated worship, idolized, adulterated, murdered. The God who forgave, delighted in, and gave people belonging.

The God who still forgives, delights, and causes us to belong!

Who breaks each new morning with mercies instead of letting each new morning break us. Who thinks precious thoughts of me. . . of you. Who lavishes a Psalm 23 life upon us. The God who helps, searches, knows, and still loves. . . both of us. Who powerfully gives us victory over and over and over and over again.

And over again.

But I’ll be honest– Continue reading “So This Is What Faithfulness Feels Like”

Words for Women

Your Most Important Work Happens Today

Today, you woke up. And maybe it’s an ordinary day, but it’s also the only day you’re living in. You don’t get to live in yesterday, and you don’t get to live in tomorrow.

And here’s the thing,

The most important work you can possibly do is already in front of you today. You can’t work in the past and you can’t work in the future. Everything in your life today is your most important work.

And let me tell you why.

By God’s grace + strength, it’s the only work you’re able to accomplish right now!

God desires you to live out today (however it looks!) in Him, for Him, and with Him.  Your important life work sits here in the hour before you. You just have to step into it. And yes, you can boldly embrace the work in front of you because that is what God has for you today.

Let’s put it simply– Continue reading “Your Most Important Work Happens Today”

Chronic-Thriving

Finding Freedom in the Hidden Place

We’ve spent the last few posts in our Chronic-Thriving series discussing practical ways to live well with pain, but let’s talk about the emotional strain of it all.

In the foggy days of my journey, it felt as though chronic pain had frozen me in place. Everything I had been able to do I could no longer do. Everything I hoped to do had to be put on hold. And while I wasn’t paralyzed in body, I felt paralyzed in spirit. What was going on? How could I endure this? How much longer would I be forced to stay here?

I had been made invisible.

Chronic pain launched me into a life of being hidden, unseen. Not that people didn’t care about me, because they did and they do! But it seemed that the very core of me was suppressed. Pain had eaten up my physical stamina and energy, erased my desire to dream, and consumed my every waking hour.

I was pain masquerading as a girl. Or so it felt. I could no longer see who I used to be, and I had no excitement for who I may become.

It would take many years of chronic pain coupled with hardship, emotional & spiritual setbacks, tiring perseverance, and grief to bring the realization that I was meant to be hidden all along and that the richest life I would ever know would be found in my relationship with God—a relationship so intimate that the entirety of it remains unseen by others.

Pain first hid me from my own ideals and aspirations to teach me that being hidden in God is my greatest purpose. Pain first buried me deep to teach me that being hidden in God is where life begins and bursts out. Pain first made me blind to make me aware that my best joy in life is being hidden in God. Pain continues to sweep in and slow down my mad dash to idolize myself the image-bearer rather than God the image-Maker. Pain of all sorts has a way of hiding me first and then reminding me of the freedom I have in being hidden in God! Continue reading “Finding Freedom in the Hidden Place”

Words for Women

The Surprising Habit of Pain

Pain has a surprising habit of crushing our hearts gloriously nearer to God Himself. And it is God who can take the impossible--especially the impossible!–and transform it into beauty while pressing His love and goodness deep into our chasm of heartache.

But we turn to despair so fast.

Surely pain is here because we are not good enough yet. Surely pain is here because God wants suffering for us. Surely pain is here because God is withholding His goodness from us, and we don’t know why.

Everything about these thoughts is incredibly wrong, and yet so easy to fall prey to. We grab hold of our pain and shape it against God and if it doesn’t quite fit our outline of Him, we take it back and yell at God WHY and believe His goodness is dependent on our definition of good.

But God never fits into our definition, and if He did? Well, we’d be scared out of our minds. We wouldn’t want to serve a God who could easily fit into our narrow-minded ideas. Continue reading “The Surprising Habit of Pain”