Grace, Grace, Grace.

He is re-shaping my heart and I am so, so thankful.

Like indoor plumbing or that feeling of sinking into a couch after a long day, life is put together in a way in which things take on a whole new level of meaning after living without them. The way that life “just is” becomes so much sweeter after learning that life actually isn’t “just like that” for everyone, all the time.

I haven’t had deep, lasting joy for a while.

I know peace and I know that peace that surpasses understanding, but haven’t had it for a while.

I have been inside my head like it’s a box that I, of all people, don’t have the key for so that I can navigate an exit.

I don’t know what I will write about it or if I will in the future. This is just starting so I stumble to know what to say even now, but here’s what I have to get out tonight:

I am thankful. I am so thankful.

I’ve said it before – but I can tell you on a whole different level. I do not bring anything to the table. I am not put together. I am not equipped. Anything you see coming out of Breathe that you associate with me is done by God’s grace and hand – for real. That isn’t false humility. I am thankful that He uses me in it and gives me life, skills, experience, and personality to be part of the vessel…but guys…my exposed pride (which I’m sure will continue to reveal itself), which then has me with my tail between my legs, can tell you so many reasons why it is not me. I have not wanted to get out of bed many times, let alone face what my attitude on those days produces fruit-wise.

Why am I writing this vague and just-vulnerable-enough-to-make-me-nervous post?

I am in a process but I am finally, finally, finally seeing light I never thought I would. Life is a process, not a drive-thru, and I need to proclaim no matter how far I am from “arrived” for two big reasons.

This is for the ones who don’t have anything to be thankful for yet. (You have plenty to be thankful for, but you don’t feel it. And getting out of your head, joy, peace, a heart slowly molding into something new? Sounds great – but everyone BUT you seems to be able to get there.). You can read the emotions, you’re sure they’re real to me – and that’s great. Sure any praise, verse, or worship really is affecting me – and that’s nice. But you couldn’t force those feelings if you wanted to.

This is to give Him glory. Some of you will not know why “whatever this season is” is such a big deal to me, and that is GREAT – because it means you have not been there. But I have been so helpless to get past this season, or to even get UP in this season. I have tried, prayed, read, posted the quotes on my wall, sang even though I didn’t feel it, nodded along…nothing. But HE is faithful. HE redeems and fulfills his purposes and continues to breathe new life. HE reshapes and remolds. HE is faithful when we are faithless. HE already died for shame. HE already died for guilt. HE is the one who has been there every morning, despite what side of the bed I woke up on. HE has been the One to answer when I didn’t want Him as much as I wanted His stuff. HE is the one teaching me, growing me, making this season meaningful. HE is the One who will bring me alongside exactly who I need to walk with this season, and every season. When I line up with someone who hasn’t yet heard what I have learned, I will know HE placed them there just like 2 Corinthians 1 praises about Him. HE renews inward daily. HE takes what seems impossible to get past.

It is not me.

In fact, trying on my own makes the process drag on longer. My checklist of verses, my quotes on empowerment and hard work, my insistence on improving my Hebrews 11 faith. While in Hebrews I catch the title “Warning on Falling Away” – then I make sure to get good and riled up over that as well. Another set of verses for the wall to write on my heart and fix myself with. Jesus didn’t come to add fluff to my self help plan. I know this and yet – I lost it? But He came into even this.

And He CAN do it with you. He WILL, in fact.

Don’t lose heart. Act based on truth even though those feelings are real. Don’t pray asking to hold it together or “get better” – drop it and offer your nothing. The “no, for real, this sucks, and I don’t even want to”. Hold that up to Him and place your heart on the table – then look at who He is.

 

Grace, on grace, on grace friends. Sopping wet in it. So thankful I just can’t contain it.

Have I arrived? Not even close. Am I jumping the gun in already writing that He is transforming me and carrying me through a season I have ached to see end – as I’ve said it’s just starting? Never. He always is, and I’ma shout about it all I want, thanks.

There are all kinds of darkness. But from the very start – that is where He has done His work.

“And God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light.” Gen 1:3

I want to say a special thank you to those who are praying for me, and those who are praying specifically. The small circle that I have opened to talk to has been a beautiful and dependable picture of community, and I KNOW that your prayers get so much credit in this thanks. Thank you.

 

Who He Is (Grace, Grace, Grace)

In just a small amount of time, in one book (Zechariah), He says…

“My love is passionate & strong”

“[I] will again comfort”

“[I] chose Jerusalem as my own”

“I myself will be a protective wall”

“I am coming to live among you”

“[I] will once again choose you”

“You can be sure I will rescue”

“I will bring them home again to live safely”

“I will be faithful & just toward them”

Said about Him in the same book…

“spoke kind & comforting words”

“consumed with passion”

“He is once again springing into action from his holy dwelling”

In this book…

He shuts down & sends away the Accuser

He replaces filthy for clean

He doesn’t need people bowing down to Him, and instead leads to real heart change and substance in the lives of those he’s with

Sends wickedness away, to where it came from

This is such a small, small tidbit. This is what, 45 minutes of reading? Maybe? This is who. He. Is. Every word about Him is soaked in it.