Spent.

anonymous barefooted melancholic woman embracing knees on floor
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We resumed homeschooling right after Labor Day (the irony is not lost on me), and I have been dead-dog tired ever since. I find myself pretty exhausted each day whether I actually get to exercise or not. There’s something about teaching that is both rewarding and depleting. I feel immense joy at seeing my kids learn and grow, whether we’re adding or dividing, learning to read, or memorizing a poem, but there’s also intense weariness that pounces on me from behind the moment I sit down. I’ve learned the importance of “self-care,” and I’ve implemented a day off for myself each Tuesday. I know full well that I can’t run on caffeine and fumes. Rest and renewal are part of God’s plan for us. So, my kids attend a drop-off homeschool co-op, and I am free to spend my day however I like. I like to exercise, read, write, and sometimes pick up a special drink at a coffee shop. Little acts like these have become very restorative to me in this full season of my life.

Now that I’m an adult in my 40s, I’m realizing a clarifying characteristic of adulthood is being tired. I look at my husband, a medical doctor, and ask, “Why am I so tired?” I do happen to have a medical condition that requires me to take a proper dosage of medication every day. If I don’t, over time, I will become very fatigued. Thankfully, I haven’t had to adjust that medication in quite some time and cannot blame my sleepiness on it. In his wisdom, my dear and loving husband reminds me that we have six children, four of whom are still homeschooled, a household that I run, women I minister to regularly, and the normal stress that accompanies life. I’m tired because I do a lot. Caring for souls is expensive, not monetarily, but in terms of physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional expenditure, the cost is astronomical.

This morning, as I was reading my Bible, I read 2 Corinthians 12 in which Paul is addressing the believers at Corinth. He has spent most of the letter reminding them that he has served them endlessly without compensation, without fanfare, without lording it over them as others had purported. Paul doesn’t complain about serving them, and despite their harsh criticism of his character, he declares, “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls” (2 Cor. 12:15, ESV). He loved this church. He helped start this church! They had begun to disdain him for his weaknesses and sufferings, embarrassed that he was not as impressive as these new super-apostles who crept into the church at Corinth and poisoned the believers against him.

Paul previously had stated all of his suffering for the churches, how he had been imprisoned, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, adrift at sea (!!!), endless journeys, in dangers too numerous to list (though he tries!), hunger, thirst, out in the cold. The man labored for the church. He loved the church, warts and all. He also relates how he received “a thorn in the flesh” to keep him from becoming conceited about the revelations he had received from God. Despite asking God to remove it three times, it remained, and Jesus, Himself, spoke to Paul about it. He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV). Paul concludes then that if he boasts, he will boast in his weakness so that the power of Christ will rest upon him. He tells the Corinthians, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV).

There are so many days when I crawl into bed, spent. I have labored until I feel there is not much left of me to give. I share Paul’s anxiety for those in my care. Are they rooted? Are they growing? Are they living in freedom? My weariness is proof of my weakness, and the only necessity is this: I need the power of Christ to rest on me. I am not enough on my own. My ministry to others is insufficient without Christ. It is only by His power and His grace being enough, I can keep going. Regardless of the sacrifices made, regardless of the hardships I face, I can rest in His work, and tomorrow, I can get up and most gladly spend and be spent for their souls, again. This is a life well-spent.

Trusting God Behind the Veil

The drive wasn’t bad for a road trip. It was longer than we normally drive in the car with six kids, but all in all, it was an easy day trip. After numerous trips to Colorado in my younger days, my favorite part of the entire drive was the anticipation of seeing the mountain skyline in the distance. The climax, however, was driving into Denver through the Eisenhower Tunnel and being greeted by the looming “purple mountains’ majesty” on the other side.

But we weren’t going to Denver or through Denver. We exited Interstate 70 onto Highway 24 to drive into Colorado Springs. I’d see faint outlines of what I assumed were Rocky Mountains, but then I’d lose sight of them. Highway 24 is full of rolling plateaus. That first day of August, the sky was heavy with clouds while the sun played hide-and-seek behind them. The sky was dramatic, and the landscape of these rising plateaus held a beauty all its own. I drank it in.

I kept expecting the mountains to surprise us, and we’d really talked it up with the kids. We’d set an expectation that any minute, they’d be confronted with a glory their mid-western eyes hadn’t experienced. But I began to have a sinking feeling in my stomach. Had I planned the wrong vacation? Was Colorado Springs the right destination? Would our kids be disappointed? Would this failure of my planning be added to the ever-growing list I’d made in my mind over the years? Every rise and fall brought a real sense of disappointment and worry.

The friends we were visiting live just a smidge north of downtown Colorado Springs. We were coming into town, and we were a mere ten minutes from their house. The sun was now fully out, and it was close to 5:00 when a barely perceptible line drawn across the horizon caught my eye. I lifted my sunglasses to verify I was really seeing something, lowered them again and cried, “There! There they are!” All sixteen eyes fixed on the horizon, and I felt in that moment that Jesus had surprised me. He wasn’t holding out on me, rather, He was waiting until the perfect moment to reveal His masterpiece.

Though darkness seems to hide His face, I rest in His unchanging grace.

“The Solid rocK,” Edward mote–1834

The outline of the Rockies grew more solid against the bright afternoon sky, though it was tainted with a thick haze, a result of forest fires to the west. which disguised the details of the mountains themselves. The kids finally saw them, and my heart lifted because my God does not fail. He established these very mountains with the command of His voice. They remain as a testament that we, too, are like a strong mountain when we trust in Him. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:19-20, ESV).

In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

“the solid rock,” Edward mote–1834

Sometimes, when life is hard, grief hangs heavy, and the valley of the shadow of death feels like a suffocating blanket, we have to choose to see His grace and rest in it. If He was willing to take care of our debt of sin behind the veil of the temple, entering as the sacrificial lamb, how much more will He do for us in our struggles?

“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things…Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”

Romans 8:31b-32, 34b, ESV

The sunshine doesn’t always break through the clouds immediately. We have to rest, knowing that behind the haze and clouds, there is majesty waiting to reveal itself. He is there even when we don’t feel lighthearted, joyful, or excited. He is there. There may be veil, but it is there, behind the veil that we remain rooted and grounded in His love. The storm will pass, but right here, right in the midst of it, He is our solid rock, our foundation, our God in whom we can trust.

A Tale of Woe (In Which the Author Cries at the Gym and Learns Some Valuable Lessons on the Elliptical)

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I’ve noticed several articles scroll across my screen lately dealing with the subject of grief and lament. Coronavirus has wreaked its havoc on every continent of the globe and into the very nooks and crannies of our small lives. Graduations have been modified, weddings canceled or reimagined, kids whose school days were cut short with no closure for the year, businesses have floundered, people have lost their jobs and livelihoods, and most tragically, thousands of people have died from this cursed disease.

Encouragement for people to make space for grief and lament is necessary, because humans often push them over to the side so they can just move forward and focus on the next thing. I’ve had a wonky relationship with grief myself. I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing, because I don’t like crying in front of other people. I cry a lot anyway; I’m really sensitive, and when you add grief to my already sensitive posture, it’s not pretty. I’ve noticed more tears lately as I contemplate our own lives overseas, already rife with global transition. We’ve grieved as fellow expats are stranded in other countries unable to return home to the country where they’ve built their lives next to ours.

I’ve lived grief on many levels–grandparents dying, miscarriage, moving from city to city or country to country, but now, I’m experiencing something different. In so many other situations in my life, I’ve known it was coming. But this–this epidemic–I didn’t expect it. I thought it would be like SARS and stay localized. I never thought it would rock the entire world. I never imagined I would have lived the entire semester without most of our homeschool community, friends, and activities. It’s been a long four months, y’all. And to top it off, every other family we’re connected to who are still currently here in our city, are leaving in June and July. We’re finding ourselves left with a view of loneliness emerging on the horizon like the solitary moon ascending at twilight. Who will be our community? Who will encourage us to keep going in this hard season?

I feel sucker-punched.

I keep doing the healthy things. I spend time daily in prayer, solitude, and Bible reading. I eat well. I go to the gym; it all helps. Exercise=podcast time for me. Yesterday, I turned on my headphones and walked down the crowded street toward our neighborhood gym. I’m listening to James Bryan Smith chatting with Dave Mullins about three of Rich’s songs on the Things Above Podcast. I arrive, check in, and get on the elliptical. He starts talking about the lyrics to “The Color Green,” which is one my favorite Rich songs due to its poetic quality and incredible turns of phrase.

“And the wrens have returned, and they’re nesting

In the hollow of that oak, where his heart once had been.

And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again.

And the streams are all swollen with winter,

Winter unfrozen, and free to run away now.

And I’m amazed when I remember,

Who it was who built this house

And with the rocks, I cry out,

Be praised for all Your tenderness

By these works of Your hands

Songs that rise and rains that thunder-blast

And bring to life Your land.

Look down upon this winter wheat,

And be glad that You have made

Blue for the sky

And the color green

That fills these fields with praise!”

RICH MULLINS, THE COLOR GREEN

My heart-rate is climbing as I listen to the music, the lyrics wakening my soul. My eyes start to fill like a cartoon character’s until they reach the top of my eyelids and have no escape except to fall on the footholds of the machine. Like Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember, I echo, “Beauty does that to me.” I grab my towel and wipe my face, hoping no one sees. I don’t know how locals would react to a foreigner crying at the gym. This is not normal. The tears keep coming, and I grab for the towel, again and again. Then, Jim has the audacity to play “Hold Me, Jesus.” I am losing it, people.

“Well, sometimes my life just don’t make sense at all.

When the mountains look so big

And my faith just seems so small

So hold me, Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf

You have been King of my glory

Won’t you be my Prince of Peace?”

RICH MULLINS, “HOLD ME JESUS”

Dave, Rich’s brother, went on to talk about how Rich wrote these lines one night in a hotel in Amsterdam, where he was really trying not to go out the motel door and sin like it was his job. It’s a song about temptation. I knew this. I’ve read Smith’s biography of Rich; I grew up on Rich’s music. Rich was human, and he struggled. My greatest temptation in this time of sorrow and sadness has been to despair, to lose hope, and to live under the shadow of depression. To say goodbye, over and over, and sometimes not even getting the chance to say it, that’s what’s so hard. It’s so hard to hang on when others let go. The tears keep coming, and I keep wiping them away under the guise of perspiration.

“Surrender don’t come natural to me.

I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want

Than to take what You give that I need.

And I’ve beat my head against so many walls

Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees.”

RICH MULLINS, “HOLD ME JESUS”

I sometimes convince myself that what I really want is to run away from here. To go to where my people are and start over again. Plant roots. There’s a temptation to think that these things will satisfy and make it all better. But what I really want is Him. Always Him. More of Jesus. I fall down, right there in my soul. I’m on my metaphorical knees begging Him for a way out of this temptation to forget Him and all He’s done.

“And this Salvation Army band is playin’ this hymn

And your grace rings out so deep

It makes my resistance seem so thin.”

RICH MULLINS, “HOLD ME, JESUS”

King David said, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13, NASB). I wondered if he wrote those words remembering that time all his men were ready to stone him because their families were taken captive. 1 Samuel 30:6 (ESV) says, “And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” How did David strengthen himself in the Lord? Maybe he sang. Maybe he remembered what God had already done: how Samuel had anointed him as king, how God had delivered him from a lion, a bear, and from the Philistine giant, Goliath. His grace has a way of strengthening us to withstand that temptation to despair.

Jim closed out the show with a third song, “Creed,” which is essentially The Apostle’s Creed set to bright hammer dulcimer strings, interspersed with bass drums, violins, and of course, his piano. Rich added in his own lines for a chorus, and while the Creed itself is familiar to Christians worldwide, this little interjection of Rich’s faith says that it’s not the having of the Creed itself, it’s being transformed by the truth in which we believe which finds its source in God Himself.

“And I believe what I believe.

It’s what makes me what I am.

I did not make it,

No, it is making me.

It is the very truth of God

And not the invention of any man.”

RICH MULLINS, “CREED”

And isn’t that really it? This truth about Jesus, who He is, and who I am because of Him is transforming. It is “making” me. No matter what shakes us, be it death, financial ruin, a virus, or any other tragedy that befalls humankind, “we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10). It is death in my body–death to self and sin–and it is life in my body, renewing me and conforming me to His image. God redeems our griefs by using them to sanctify us. In all the sorrow, all the lament, all the suffering, all the grief, I pray, “Hold Me, Jesus.”

When Feelings Try to Write Your Story

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Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit suspended in the air, like I’m dangling and not knowing whether or not I’m gonna fall or be lifted to higher ground. The uncertainty of moving forward with life continues worldwide. On every continent, people can’t plan for future days. I have felt like I’ve been riding a roller coaster of emotions for about four months, and I want to get off and get my money back!

It occurred to me today that the feeling I’ve been having is real, but it’s not true. All of our feelings (and thoughts!) are real and valid. They’re really happening, and we’re really experiencing them. But that does not mean they’re true. The narrative my emotions have been writing says that I’m suspended in air, unable to go up or down or sideways. I’m stuck. I’m not in control, and I’m just waiting to move on with my life. That is most certainly what it feels like. The truth is that while I can’t plan for the things I want to do, the places I want to visit, or the things I want and need to buy, I am not stuck. I can still move forward. Because of this feeling, I began telling myself this lie. All it has done for me is depress me and cause anxiety because when you feel like you’re hanging by a thread, it’s scary.

But what if I were to change the narrative? What if I were to tell my feelings to shut up, sit down, and listen? If I were to do that, I think this is what I’d see.

  • Instead of being suspended in air, unable to move forward, I am actually held and safe in Jesus’ hands.
  • Instead of being stuck, I’m free. When I’m in His hands, I’m free to be who He created me to be and to do the things He’s called me to do.
  • Instead of not having any agency or control, I actually can make choices and decisions within the boundaries given to me.

This is a radically different narrative. It restores the truth to me that I am loved by God, held by Him, and my very address is under His sovereignty (Acts 17:26). I am not going to fall; I am safe in His hands. I also see that because He loves me and is taking care of me, I can live out the gifts He’s given me. I’m not thwarted or held back in this season; I’m free to live as His beloved (Ephesians 2:10). His hands are not tied, and neither are mine. Finally, I see that because I’m made in His image, being conformed to the image of Jesus, and filled with the Holy Spirit, I have the power to choose to walk according to His plan for my life and make choices each day to deepen my relationship with Him and with others (Romans 8:14-17).

Are your feelings trying to steal your pen and write your story? Do you struggle too? I’d love to hear from you what you’re learning and how God is using this time to transform you into the image of His Beloved Son, Jesus.

Decision-Making in Crisis Mode

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Laurel, my neighbor and battle buddy during Coronavirus, and I were walking one day last week, and she wanted to run to the market to buy veggies for dinner. I happily went along, but I told her right away, “I have no idea what I’m going to make for dinner. I guess I need to think about it.” She was full of ideas that sounded good, but I just “couldn’t even.” Weariness had settled in.

We walked into the market, and the guy on duty got our attention to come over for our temperature scans. Satisfied by our lack of fevers, he waved us into the green sea of stalks and leaves dotted with the reds, yellows, and oranges of various vegetables. Produce is fresh from the farm here, likely picked the day before and dropped off that morning. It was a feast for the nature-starved eyes of city dwellers, to be sure, but I was just foggy-headed.

She loaded up, and I stood there thinking how fresh and delicious it would be if I did cook, but the motivation to actually buy the goods was lacking. If I buy them, then I am responsible to cook them. I didn’t have it in me in that moment. We got back to the apartment, parted ways, and I climbed the stairs to our fifth-floor apartment (we don’t have an elevator in our building). My husband, Dave, was happy to order take-out from one of our favorite restaurants instead. Crisis averted.

I’ve especially noticed in this time of quarantines, social-distancing, and a pandemic, making decisions is just harder. In February, we were waffling back and forth about whether or not we’d return to the US. It was an every single day discussion with arguments for both staying and going. And what we eventually realized is this: you can only make decisions with the information you actually have, not with all the suppositions and possibilities. When we boiled it down to the known, we were finally able to make a decision based on those facts.

I’ve been wrestling internally with future decisions about our life. There’s someone I love dearly who has been in and out of the hospital this past week with heart problems. I feel the pull to be closer in proximity even though I wouldn’t be able to visit him. There are family members and dear friends we had hoped to visit this summer, but the world is such a muddled mess of numbers, peaks, and predictions that we don’t feel confident enough to buy tickets. There are political issues going on in our host country that have sparked anger and sorrow in our hearts for the mistreatment of other foreigners because of their nationality and skin color.

All of these circumstances overwhelm my soul if I let them. And boy, have I let them this past week! When Overwhelm waltzes in uninvited and pulls up a chair after grabbing a cold one from the fridge, indicating he intends to stick around awhile, I often don’t put up a fight. Instead, I roll over and play dead, hoping he’ll just leave me alone. My other response is to make myself busy so I don’t have to entertain the brute. I find myself wondering what the right response is to Overwhelm?

Overwhelm, verb

1. •Upset, Overthrow

2. a •to cover over completely: submerge

b •to overcome by superior force or numbers

c •to overpower in thought or feeling

Merriam-Webster

Based on the definition above, it seems like Overwhelm is a control freak, stomping around telling me how to feel, trying to control my thoughts and forcing me to worry while water-boarding me. Overwhelm is a jerk. Interestingly enough, it is this same Overwhelm who robs me of the ability to make big and small decisions. When I let him boss me around, I cannot think my own thoughts; I’ve got his negative track running through my head. When I don’t fight back, he has no problem trying to drown me. And when I ignore him, I may feel better momentarily, and I may be able to move forward through my day, but it doesn’t erase the feelings which have taken root in my heart. I’ve just chosen not to dwell on them presently; however, a time is coming when I will have to face them, and this causes dread.

So what’s a lady to do when it’s time to face the decisions, unmade and looming stormily over her head? First, I’ve got to imitate the patriarchs (and many matriarchs, I’d surmise) of the Old Testament and “inquire of the Lord.” I have to bring these heavy decisions and maybe even the little ones like dinner—because truthfully, they’re just a byproduct of not being able to make the big ones—and tell my friend, Jesus, about them. He already knows, but He likes it when I lean on Him and see Him for who He is—my Provider, my Protector, my Brother, my Friend, and my Savior. And you know, when I bring it to Him (often again and again in a single hour), I remember how strong He is and how much He loves me. I remember that He cares about my life. He cares about dinner. He cares about my brain fog and the worry and indecision.

After talking to Him, I have to remember who I am. I’m His. I belong to Him, no matter what. I am, always and forever, safe in His care. I remember I’m made in His image. I have agency. I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to be wise and discerning. I remember all He has taught me has been from a heart of kindness and gentleness. I remember I can only make decisions based on what I do know, not on what I can’t see or know about the future.

Seeing Him and seeing myself through His eyes reminds me I am free to decide. I will not always make the best decision. My best friend Nicole (Check our her latest song HERE about this very topic) reminded me last week of how He isn’t surprised when we make the wrong decision, but He gives us so much grace for whatever decision we end up making. Our “wrong” decisions aren’t outside of His sovereignty in the earth. He is the masterful conductor bringing all of these decisions into harmony, though a stray note may be played here or there.

As my friend, Emily P. Freeman (she doesn’t know we’re friends, but we so are), says on her excellent podcast, The Next Right Thing, “…Do the next right thing in love.” What does it look like to do the next right thing in love? I think it’s something like this: Walk with Jesus, hands wide open, identity secured, knowing whatever decision you make is gonna be okay. Whenever Overwhelm comes around, kick him to the curb. You’ve got a life to live.

Certainly Uncertain

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I foolishly made a statement sometime in late December or early January that I couldn’t live in this country without my community here. Now, this idea just sounds silly. Of course, I could live here without this particular group of people. Of course, I can do hard things. But in that moment of pressure, I really felt like I couldn’t make it without my people. In our city, expats (short for “expatriates” which just means people who live in a foreign country) are pretty familiar with one another, but within the expat community is the subculture of the homeschool community. We are always cooperating together, our kids are playing sports together, and they’re learning together. We spend a large chunk of our time with this fantastic group of people.

But then, almost ALL of our people exited our country for a vacation. This happens yearly, and this year was no different. Except that it was. They didn’t come back. In fact, they stayed where they were for the next eight weeks while we were here in our host country, not leaving our homes except for groceries. We were under daily policy changes as this country tried to stop COVID-19. And now, almost all of them are in the US. There are a few sprinkled in other countries waiting this thing out, but we don’t know when they’ll be allowed to return. And I’m here, eating crow. I quickly learned that I can, indeed, live without them; I just never wanted to. And who can blame me?

And it was about 3-4 weeks into COVID-19 when I remembered those carelessly spoken words. “I could NEVER…” And there I was, living without my community. God, in His grace, provided us with one other dearly loved foreign family in our apartment complex who became our battle buddies in the trenches. I believe this experience has bonded us in a way that others could not. We have shared meals together and hunkered down together. Our kids have made movies together, we’ve roasted marshmallows on the roof together, and we’ve shared our fears, disappointments, and daily victories. But we collectively grieved the uncertainty of our community returning.

Maybe you find yourself in a similar thinking space–“I could never ________________________.” Maybe the blank was filled with “homeschool,” “work from home,” or “stay home.” And now you’re doing it. I think we’re often very closed-minded to what we can actually handle. No one wants to handle tragedy, being distant from those you love, changing your routine, trying scary, new things, or pretty much doing anything that requires bravery or effort.

For myself, it’s the state of being comfortable that I didn’t want to give up. I’ve been battling this, because I don’t want it to be true of me. I don’t want to be addicted to comfort. But I totally am. I suspect some of you are too. I have often said to myself, “Why does this have to be so hard?” Maybe in my comfort, I should ask instead, “Why is this so easy?” I am all too aware of the relative ease of my life compared to those of my fellow humans living in poverty, escaping war-torn nations, or suffering abuse.

I’ve been bowing down to the god of Ease. Challenging things make you grow, and in my immaturity, I’d rather coast along like Peter Pan in Never Never Land and shirk the hard for empty pleasure. But in my heart of hearts, that’s not what I really want. I really don’t want to stay the same. I want to change. I want to be more mature. I want to honor God by putting Him and others ahead of myself. I want to think of myself less. I want my life to bless others, and for that, there is a transformation that has to take place.

Paul calls it “sanctification.” It’s a word that basically means that you’re being changed into the likeness of Jesus through a process of refinement. This refinement often happens when pressure is applied. I don’t know about you, but COVID-19 has carried a lot of pressure. So many weaknesses in me have been revealed in this fire. I see hidden fears coming to light, a desire to control outcomes, a desire to know how everything will turn out, and a desire to not have to change to accommodate others. But this sanctification is for our good, and it produces what we’re actually longing for, which is growth.

Bob Goff, writer, lawyer, and bringer of joy posted this statement on Instagram the other day:

“Wanting to have all of the answers now isn’t bad, it just isn’t faith. Do what you can. Be courageous. Stay the course.”

Bob Goff

“It’s just not faith.” Well said, Bob! And that’s where the rubber meets the road–“for the just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17b, NKJV) Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (NASB) I live by faith everyday that Jesus died for me, that His work on the cross was to cancel my debt of sin, to renew and transform me to His image, so that the new creation is restored. And this is how I’m able to accept hard things, to change, to move forward with uncertainties–I know a new creation is certain.

What does this look like practically?

  1. When uncertainty scares you, take a deep breath and look at what’s certain–God, your transformation, and the new creation.
  2. When difficult circumstances loom, turn your attention to Jesus and actively trust Him to help you through it. He promised never to leave you or forsake you.
  3. Do the next right thing–you don’t have to know all of the steps ahead, just take the next one. (For more on this, please go binge listen to The Next Right Thing podcast with Emily P. Freeman)

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6 (NASB)