To The One Who Feels Burned Out

To The One Who Feels Burned Out

To The One Who Feels Burned Out,

Before I say anything, let’s take a deep breath together. Inhale, exhale.

Sometimes the best thing to do when we’re exhausted is to slow down and remember we are alive.

Now, the most important thing I want to say is that I get it. I know life is moving fast and sometimes it can feel like too much. I know the pressure can build up and the future can feel like it’s speeding at you quicker than you can blink. I’m feeling it too.

The tension of being so tired, so ready to be done but still having to sprint to get to the finish line can feel too hard at times. For me, it is college. Maybe for you, it’s the non-stop reality of being a parent or the long hours of a job you really want to quit.

No matter what, if you do feel burned out I want to encourage you today. Not because I have all the answers but because I am a reminder that you are not alone. And there is a really kind, really strong Father who offers us hope for relief.

So, stop what you are doing right now. Look up from your screen, shut the laptop for a second and just close your eyes. Inhale, exhale.

It seems silly or obvious, but I believe when we close our eyes and let His presence fill the space behind our eyelids it is a physical reminder of the life beating inside of our chests.

And when we lift our eyes from the exhausting circumstance that is staring us down and remember Who is carrying us through it all, we are able to catch our breath.

We say it all the time, “God is with us” but He really is.

When we choose to really believe it, it changes the way we see our life and the One who gave it to us- no matter how hard it might be in the moment.

He is in the breath that fills your lungs and the deep-belly laugh you were designed to have. He is in the ability to feel raindrops on your unique fingerprints and the vibrant colors that fill your eyes each day.

He is in your feet that carry you with each step you take and the journey that your taste buds take you on in every meal. He is in each heartbeat and the intricate brain inside your head.

He is everywhere, all the time, waiting to bring you the peace you need in the most desperate moments of burnout.

He is the presence that helps us stay present so we can experience the life we were created to live.

That’s what I am learning- God did not create us to live like burned out zombies. We were not born to live in the exhaustion and frustration that the world (and our own flesh) can pull us into so easily.

No, you and I were born to live in freedom. We are called to walk boldly into each new day, to live with love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We were created to be alive.

Now, I know that sounds great in theory…but it is a lot more difficult to really live like that. To believe it when life is knocking us down over and over again is where the real, raw faith comes in.

Again, I get it. It can be hard to just get back up again sometimes.

I’m not saying to not have hard times, I’m just saying that God is teaching me when I feel the burnout and want to give up He has the strength to get me through.

He is the One we can lean on and can have confidence in.

And when we choose to breathe, step back, be present and live in gratitude He helps us escape the bondage of burnout.

Be grateful for the simple, detailed beauties of life you do have right now. I promise there are more of them than you and I will ever really know or understand.

Choose to rest in Him and create space in your life so you can catch your breath physically, mentally and spiritually. It is important and valid, especially in the seasons of burnout. 

Most importantly, stop and breathe really, really deep. Just remember- you are not alone and He will get you through this. Keep your head up and watch how He brings life back into your soul. 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

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Anxiety, Rest & Jesus

Anxiety, Rest & Jesus

Hey, remember when I had this big goal to write on here once a month during 2018? Yeah, me too.

I had been looking at my watch the date change from August 31 to September 1 signaling the start of a new month and the failure of my self-imposed goal.

August was like hitting pause and play all at once. I finished my summer internship on August 9, which also happened to be the same day I got really sick. I definitely felt like I was crossing the finish line of a marathon- very proud and satisfied but also so tired and desperately in need of a break. I guess my body felt the same way since it physically forced me to rest for a week.

So, I slept and vegged out and was sick. Then, I started working at my school’s newspaper, the North Texas Daily, as a senior staff writer. And then a week later I started my senior year of college. And then August was over.

September felt like hitting fast forward, I genuinely can’t believe it has already come and gone. And now we are almost done with October. Between the constant stories I’ve been writing and the fast pace of school, sometimes it feels like I really can’t catch my breath.

September was hard for other reasons, too. I started taking new medicine to help me with some ongoing health issues I have struggled with for years, which is a good thing.

The medicine kind of messed with my brain though and the weird chemical imbalances mixed with the intensity of school lead me to spiral into some anxiety attacks that were really hard to deal with.

I felt overwhelmed by all the things in my life- all the stories, all the homework, all the pressures, all the unknowns of my future.

Everything has felt so heavy and, at times, very hopeless. I feel stuck running a million miles a minute in a circle that leads to anxious, fearful thoughts.

It’s really easy to forget why I’m doing any of this, Who I am living this life for.

Because that’s the thing…I am living. I am alive. We all are. But I think sometimes the world wants to get us to believe we aren’t.

Sometimes the world wants us to believe the only option is to feel like we’re drowning in our own lives all the time.

Or maybe my problem is I am more comfortable spinning out of control in my own mind because it’s just easier.

Either way, it’s a hard place to be- one where anything beyond the next few minutes feels like too much.

And do you want to know the funniest thing is? The word God spoke over me this year was “rest.”

I think He picked that word because He knew this semester would happen, this past summer would happen and ultimately that I would happen.

Because I don’t do rest well, but He does.

And it’s when I realize I need Him that I strip off the Christian lingo that has turned “rest” into a spiritual word that is attractive to think of but not so attractive to actually do.

I’m realizing under the over-spiritualized term, in its most uncovered, bare form, is the action of trusting God.

So, when I look back on the moment I realized I had missed my own deadline to write a blog post at the end of August. Or the moment I stayed up until 3 a.m. last week to write a story that I really didn’t want to finish but forced myself too. Or the moment I was so focused on what was ahead of me that the anxiety attacked and my vision was blurred with tears…Jesus was there.

He has always been there offering me the breath I needed to fill my tired lungs. He has always been there to lift my head so I could look up and remember that in the rushed moments of the world, He is holding me still in His presence.

It sounds so sweet, so beautiful. And it is. But I am learning how raw and real it is too. It’s when I am crying into my pillow at night from the crushing weight of anxiety and fear of the future that I encounter the One who sees me.

And when He sees me in those dark moments, He doesn’t get upset or look away in disgust or discomfort. He wraps me up in His strong arms to remind me that He is the sweetest Rescuer.

Jesus doesn’t just live in the put-together moments of worship on Sunday mornings, He breathes life and redeems and rescues in the darkest moments too.

I don’t know what the past three months have looked like for you but God knows. He knows and He is offering you exactly what you need right now, whether it’s peace or joy or just the strength to get up tomorrow morning and face the world.

He’s got what you need and He is the greatest rescue, just relax into His arms and let Him carry you through.

“Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you.

When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you. For I am the Lord your God, the holy God of Israel, who saves you. I will give up Egypt to set you free; I will give up Ethiopia and Seba.

I will give up whole nations to save your life, because you are precious to me and because I love you and give you honor. Do not be afraid—I am with you!”

-Isaiah 43:1-5 (GNT)

The Beautiful Tension in the Highs & Lows

The Beautiful Tension in the Highs & Lows

Last week I got to go to a really cool party. Like, really cool. It was at a trendy venue downtown complete with the largest disco ball I have ever laid eyes on and music so loud the only way to have a decent conversation was to shout.

And it wasn’t just your “average” party, it was D Magazine’s party of the year where they celebrate the best of Dallas with good food, drinks, and entertainment. I got to go for free because I am a D Magazine Partners intern and, if you know me, the only parties I really go to are the birthday kind so…it was an exciting experience for me!

I definitely felt like I was in a movie the entire time and I definitely dusted off my Instagram to capture and broadcast the whole evening. I mean, why wouldn’t I?

I posted aesthetically pleasing boomerangs with the food and glamorous shots of the big party to my Instagram story. It was great and I felt the rush of being able to show off that I was actually doing something “cool” with my life.

But, as I drove home and continued on with my week, I felt a heaviness in my heart to show the whole picture. If you have had a conversation with me at all this summer you probably know this internship has not just been tall skyscraper office buildings and shiny disco balls.

It’s actually been one of the hardest challenges of my life.*

On one hand, my internship got me into one of the coolest parties in Dallas. But on the other hand, it’s the reason my summer has been full of Dallas traffic jams, expense reports, harsh criticism, parking issues, flat tires, and so many other realities of growing up.

There is more to the story God has been writing than one night of “fun” and I can’t help but feel like I’m not showing the bigger picture. And that is not my heart, ever. I never want to hide the hard, gritty work God is doing because life is not just made up of highlights (although social media says otherwise…) it’s also made up of hardships.

Talking about both sides of the experience, the highs and lows feels like something I need to share. I think it’s because I find myself believing I am the only one struggling (thanks to the overwhelming highlight real that is social media).

Of course, I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty for celebrating their highs on social media, that is honestly a big part of its purpose. It’s just the fact that I have really only shown the fun parts of my internship when in reality it has been so much more.

It’s been a beautiful city view from the 22nd floor of the D Magazine building but it’s also been busting my tire on the way home after working all day.

It’s been writing stories for a D Magazine publication but also dealing with the insecurities that come with learning how to communicate with a new manager in a new work environment.

It’s been going to a cool party but also crying in the bathroom the first day back from my beach trip because post-vacation blues are very real.

It’s been good but it’s also been hard. 

At first, that really bummed me out. I had this expectation that I would love every moment of my internship and it would be everything I imagined. But what God has been teaching me is the broken beauty of life is truly experienced in the tension between celebrating highs and feeling lows.

God created both and it’s okay to not be okay. In fact, He never called you and me to just be “okay.” He calls us to lean into the hard moments of weakness so that He can draw us closer to rest in His strength.

This is one of those hard-to-swallow, necessary revelations He has been pouring over my heart all summer long. There have even been times I have genuinely asked God why this was His plan for this summer because there were moments it felt too difficult to handle.

The struggle is real, seriously. He sees how deep the lows of our lives go in our hearts. And He cares deeply.

He doesn’t want you to get up and act like everything is fine, He just wants you to see you are not alone and He is with you in the hard place. He wants to give you what your heart needs to see that place as a good part of His story for you.

Yes, it’s been a tough summer but, because of that, it’s been so good. And there have been really wonderful moments too. I have made so many new friends through this experience, have had multiple stories published and have gotten to interview some extremely interesting innovators in Dallas.

That’s the thing, this summer has been full of both the highs and the lows. They go hand-in-hand and their importance goes beyond a couple Instagram stories of a fun night. The lows are just as important as the highs and I am learning that when God is in it, which I believe He always is, there is always a greater purpose in the trial.

So, if you are in a low season just remember that God is the perfect storyteller. Every high and low is interwoven into the narrative of your life on purpose and for a purpose.  And He is writing the best story of all time.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

“Highs and lows
Lord, You’re with me either way it goes
Should I rise or should I fall?
Even so
Lord, Your mercy is an even flow
You’re too good to let me go.” -Highs & Lows // Hillsong Young & Free
*I just want to say that I know so many people have experienced hardships much harder than my internship struggles. I don’t want to come across as unaware to the levels of hardships that exist, this has just been a particularly challenging summer for me personally and I felt like I needed to share it.
Hope For the Rest of 2018 (& Those Resolutions That Seem Too Far Gone)

Hope For the Rest of 2018 (& Those Resolutions That Seem Too Far Gone)

Well, we are already half-way into 2018! Wow. I know everyone always says, “I just can’t believe how fast the year is going by!” But y’all, I really can’t.

It seems like it was just yesterday that I was making all these New Year’s resolutions and writing on the blog about my word for 2018. But, at the same time, some of those exciting dreams I had in my heart on January 1 are a little fuzzy right now.

I planned on making so many exciting changes to my routine. Now it’s the end of June and I’m sitting here looking back on what I haven’t done and it feels too late to try to play catch-up.

If you have been around for awhile you know “rest” is the word God gave me for this year. Of course, I feel like I have been running around on empty, focused on my own strength, more times in 2018 than I have been resting in Him.

It’s really easy to see an area of your life that needs change, it’s not as easy to continue being intentional in that area when things get chaotic. And that’s just the reality of life. I am far from perfect and have definitely fallen back into old rhythms I was so gung-ho about leaving behind in 2017.

Here’s the thing though, the year isn’t over yet.

Six months have gone by but there are still six whole months left. And those goals and dreams and “2018 words” are just as real today as they were on New Year’s Day.

So I really want to ask you, how does your life look right now? What was your word of the year? How have you been intentional in reaching the exciting goals you set out for yourself?

It’s okay if your real answer is that you don’t feel like you’ve made a ton of progress and can’t seem to remember those January goals. First of all, you are NOT alone. I think most of us feel that way.

If that’s you, just know that because you didn’t start then doesn’t mean you can’t start now. The enemy wants you to believe you are too far gone, that those goals will never be met. But that is a LIE because God is not done with you yet, never has been and never will be.

He doesn’t really care if you take that next step in January or June, all that matters is that you take it. My pastor always says, “It doesn’t matter how you start, all that matters is how you finish.”

Don’t feel like you’ve fallen behind and have to catch up, just make a move today so you can finish well later.

Pick up that Bible and read a chapter, put on your favorite sneakers and go for a walk, look that temptation in the face and choose to say “No.”

Whatever it is that you’ve been wanting to do, just do it (as Mr. Shia LaBeouf would say!) and watch how God redeems 2018 to be your best, most intentional year yet.

And if you do feel like you have stayed focused on your goals and are making progress towards where you want to be- THAT IS SO AWESOME! Take a moment and just appreciate what you and God have accomplished together. I am genuinely praying He continues to give you the energy and motivation to keep running strongly towards His best for your life.

Wherever you are, you are not alone and you are not too far gone. God is all about redemption stories, He is writing one every single day with your life.

It is not too late to get started on reaching those goals you set for 2018 and chasing the dreams God gave you. Maybe you need to pick up that journal you wrote all your “start-of-the-year” goals to remind yourself. Maybe you never really thought about your goals for the year until now.

Go remember, write them down again and trust that no matter what you have or haven’t done God has not given up on you, so don’t give up on yourself.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

-Hebrews 12:1-3

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Change Can Be Hard

Change Can Be Hard

Wow. What a month it has been! May has been jam-packed with so many exciting adventures and new challenges.

As I was thinking about this month’s post and what God has been doing in my life, the word “change” kept bubbling up in my mind. So, naturally, I thought that was what the focus was going to be. I was planning to do a mini update on all the changes that have happened and how they are new adventures full of sweetness and wonder. It was going to be great!

But, as I started to write this post I realized there is so much more going on inside of my heart. And I never created this blog to just write some pre-planned words so I could check a box off in my mind to feel accomplished. This is a part of my personal ministry, using the gift of writing God has given me to express what He is doing in my heart. This is real, I always want it to be real.

So, this post is no longer just a sweet recap of all the awesome, exciting things that have happened in the past month. It’s also going to be a snapshot of where my heart is right now as I trudge through the hard parts that come along with the change.

You may be wondering, what changes I’m talking about? Well, let me tell you.

This month brought new beginnings. I turned 21-years-old and got to celebrate with the amazing people who make my life such a blessing. I also finished my junior year which was easily my best year of college so far.

But, at the same time, this month brought bittersweet endings. The biggest one, in my heart, is my transition out of Wednesday HUB (which is my church’s youth ministry) where I have been serving for the past three years as a middle school girls leader.

This month has also been full of new, unexpected adventures! I ended up getting to go to Los Angeles for a week with my dad to celebrate my birthday and it was so much fun. I am very thankful for those special memories we got to create together.

But the biggest adventure that has “fallen” into my lap is probably why this month feels so crazy to me and is where those tough heart things are coming from- I started a “big girl” internship!

It’s a very long story that I’m going to do my best to keep short…basically, I have to do an internship to graduate. I’ve known this ever since I started studying journalism at UNT and I remember being very excited when I first realized it. Internships sounded so fun to pre-college me (they still do!) and I remember picturing myself in a cool office, working for a magazine in a city somewhere.

Well, it hit me this year that I am getting closer to graduation (I am one year away!) which means I am getting closer to needing that internship. I knew I wanted to do it during the summer so I could focus fully on interning and not worry about going to class. So, in the back of my mind this entire year I have thought about how I need to do an internship and pretty soon.

But there was something else in the back of my mind too. As some of you may recall, last summer I worked at a Christian camp called Camp WOW and I LOVED it. I didn’t write a ton about it because last year I didn’t keep up with the blog as well. But it challenged me and humbled me and rocked my world and gave me a second family and, basically, I love camp. So much. And this summer I wanted to go back to camp. So bad.

I could see the need for an internship but I could also feel my heart wanting to be back at camp. So, I decided I would just go back and figure out my internship situation next year. Simple.

I didn’t even ask God though and let me tell you, He had his own plan.

He started whispering, “Apply to your dream internship, just try.” And, even though it confused me, I did.

For me, the ideal internship would be at D Magazine. It’s a hugely successful magazine (which is where I want to work someday!) and it’s in Dallas.

So, I applied and told God that if He wanted me there He would have to make it happen, half-heartedly believing it would go anywhere.

And God responded! He opened the doors and gave me the internship. I needed a clear answer if I was going to choose this over camp and getting it was a very clear answer from Him to me, “I want you to spend your summer at home, doing this internship.”

I remember getting the email and being so surprised, excited and nervous all at the same time. This was unknown, this was not my plan. But I heard Him tell me, “I am with you wherever you go, just trust me.”

So as I write this, I am currently sitting in that cool office that’s on the 22nd floor of a big, shiny building I dreamed of getting to intern in as a newly graduated high schooler just a couple years ago. Officially, I am an editorial intern for Dallas Innovates through the D Magazine Partners internship program. WHAT?!? God is SO good. Part of me still can’t believe I’m here.

It’s been so cool for so many reasons, He has continued to give me signs that this is where He wants me. Getting to meet people who are passionate about the same things I am and learning from professionals in the world I hope to be apart of someday…it’s already been such a neat experience.

But, if I’m being honest, it’s also been a huge change for me which is where the “not-so-warm-and-fluffy” heart stuff comes into play right now.

The commute to Dallas, the long hours, learning how to communicate with new people, and the transition has been challenging in ways I didn’t expect.

And what I’m trying to remember is that’s okay, it’s normal. I have to keep reminding myself of that: the uncomfortable transition is part of the experience and learning how to adjust is part of the process.

Now, don’t get me wrong! There have been some really wonderful moments already and I have no doubt in my mind God has put me in this internship for a reason. I know it’s where I’m supposed to be and I am beyond grateful to get to go through the hard parts of this experience and soak up every ounce of this dream internship I didn’t ever think I would have. 

But, I want to be honest about all of the parts of this new season because sometimes it is just plain hard. And not talking about it would just discount how good God is in those overwhelming moments, so I’m going to talk about it!

What I’ve realized over the year is just because He calls us to something doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier. I’m actually convinced it’s in those uncomfortable, exhausting moments where He speaks louder than ever.

I’m learning that He is there in the long commute and in the frustrating conversation and in the daily 3 p.m. mental crash. He is there.

I am weak but He is strong. He is there lifting me up and reminding me that He is in control.

Change is hard. Being an adult is hard. Life is hard. That’s why we need a Savior who makes our burdens light and gives us the courage to keep going, even when all we want to do is give up.

It’s the truth but if I’m even more honest, I usually forget this part. I get focused on the circumstances of life and my own shortcomings- and y’all, that will make anyone want to give up. But the good news is, even when I forget, He is with me.

And as I type that, with my puffy eyes tired from the almost 7 hours I have been sitting and staring at this screen writing assignments, I breathe a sigh of relief because I desperately need to know He is good and He is with me, trudging through the change.

That’s the biggest thing I want to say: if you are in a new season that has turned out to be less sunshine and roses and more of a sunburn and thorns, just know you are not alone. I get it, but most importantly, God is with you- YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 

Even the moments that haven’t been so perfect and sweet have all happened on purpose and for a purpose. Through the change He is shaping us into who He has called us to be.

Change is a part of His plan for us. It isn’t always fun and can be really hard, like “I-want-to-give-up-why-is-Dallas-traffic-this-terrible” kind of hard. But that’s the cool thing about God, He doesn’t abandon us when it gets tough. As a matter of fact, He gets even closer.

It’s in the hard moments of this world that His refreshing presence collides with the brutal reality of life, reminding us that He changes all things but He never changes. Thank goodness.  

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

“Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change.” -James 1:17 (TPT)

“He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” -Romans 8:27-28 (MSG)

Finding Peace in the Backseat

Finding Peace in the Backseat

Lately, my whole life has felt like one big decision. I guess it comes with the territory of being a 20-year-old (almost 21-year-old!) college student who is trying to figure out life and the future one step at a time while simultaneously having no idea what she’s doing…but I also feel like these life decisions will never go away, they will just change with time.

It’s a really sweet season of life (for so many reasons) but it can easily go from wonderful to overwhelming. Of course, I am so thankful to get the option to make decisions like going back to work at Camp WOW, exciting potential internships, stepping into a brand new ministry and even silly, fun decisions like my 21st birthday plans.

When I step back and look at all the possibilities that lie ahead through God’s eyes I am so blessed that I am alive and get to do these things for Him. But it’s in the moments my focus shifts from my Father who is in control to how many decisions I have to make that the enemy overwhelms my mind with uncertainty and sucks all the life out of, well, my life.

That’s the thing about decisions, I get anxious when I’m waiting in the “in-between” part. My flesh doesn’t like the decision part, the waiting because the world tries to tell me I need an answer before I get through the deciding part. And what God has been reminding me is that He is in the in-between, He’s in the waiting and, ultimately, He is the one in the driver’s seat.

It’s like my life is one big road trip and each destination is something brand new and exciting. I know I’m in good hands with God as the One behind the wheel but after awhile I start to ask when we’re getting there or, sometimes, where we’re even going. I can see He is driving and I know He will unfailingly get me where I need to be but the journey can be hard, dark and exhausting.

Even still, I know He is right there beside me on the journey and He can see the destination when all I feel is the waiting.

Now, just because I’ve realized that doesn’t mean it’s the perspective I have every single day. Most days I’m stressed and worried about making the “right” decision (If that even exists?) and trying to understand how everything will all work out. But the beautiful part is, no matter how bumpy the ride is, it does not change the fact that He is still driving.

Whether I think I’m in control or not, He is always taking me where He wants me to be and He always gets me there on time. I know this in my head, it’s my heart that needs the reminding the most because that’s where the true, gritty trust is.

Trusting is not easy but it is the key to unlocking a free, joyful heart that rests peacefully in the backseat.

But, can I be honest? I think worrying has become easier and more comfortable for me. It’s my default, it’s where my mind automatically goes. I already know I can worry and not be sure, it’s in the trusting that I have to give all of my fears to Him and believe He won’t take a wrong turn.

Worrying is easy, trusting is worth it.

So, that’s where my heart has been lately during this crazy season of April. It’s been a beautiful month of business as the final projects and big decisions have lurked closer and closer with each passing day?

There are so many things I can (and do) stress about- my future, my summer, graduating on time, my family, my friends, camp, leaving a comfortable ministry for the unknown, doing the right thing, being in the right place and the list goes on…

And when my mind goes to its default mode of stress, I’ve been praying that God would pull me out of myself long enough to be thankful for the season I am in now instead of worrying about the one I may be in later. I pray to have the boldness to trust Him when it seems like I’m driving off a cliff and I can’t see which way He’s taking me. I pray for a heart that trusts the One who holds my heart in the darkest, loneliest moments on this earth is the same good, good Father I sing praises to on Sunday morning.

To just trust, I know it’s easier to say than to do. It’s harder in the moments when every thought and worry comes crashing down and I’m brought to my knees in fear. But He never fails to remind my heart that He has me right where He wants me, even if where I am is in-between where I have been and where I want to be.

And I know at the end of the day, no matter where we are on the journey to the destination He is there with me and that is truly the only place I really want to be.

As long as He is in the driver’s seat He will get me there and His final destination is always the most perfect and on-time place that only He can get me to- that’s why the full life takes real trust.

He is good, He is faithful and He will come through- He always does.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”    Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:33-34 (MSG)

I Know How the Story Ends

I Know How the Story Ends

Can you imagine not knowing?

The darkness of the night must have been the only comfort, the only thing to block out the pain and fear. He was gone, He had died.

Light had left, hope had gone.

They must have wondered why He said He was the One? Why didn’t He save Himself? How did He perform the miracles and do the things He did?

Why did they believe Him?

He was it. They must have felt like the one escape they had from this fallen, broken world had just closed in on them. They must have felt like He died and just left them there to die too. It’s was just a matter of time.

How could they not feel hopeless? They had watched him just stand there, taking every word, every spit, every punch. He just took it, He didn’t even fight back.

He let them torture Him, He let them mock. He let them hurt Him, why did he have to give up?

Now it life was complete darkness. No hope. Total pain.

That was what they must have felt, absolute despair.

But can you imagine? The shiver that went down their spine as they saw Him, the One who had been rolled into a grace, breathing in life and walking in power with the holes in hands and feet. Alive.

They must have thought, “He is dead, there is no possible way.”

As their minds tried to come up with an explanation, Heaven showed them the proof-He was alive. He hadn’t given up at all, He had come back undefeated and brought forever life, hope and freedom with Him.

I can only imagine the unexplainable joy that crept into their hearts that had been weighed down with sorrow only moments before.

He was no longer dead, He never had been. He had only walked past death, on His way to unlocking everlasting life for all His brothers and sisters.

He is exactly who He said He was, He came to FREE. The stunned believers of that day didn’t have to wait anymore, they didn’t have to live in their old ways anymore. And neither do we. Everything He said is true, it was then and it is now.

Even when anxiety comes or people disappoint or life seems too much to bear. He is still who He says He is and He keeps His promise.

He is Jesus, the greatest comeback story of all time.

Tonight we don’t have to wonder, we don’t have to sit under the crushing weight of disappointment and sorrow.

We know Sunday morning is coming, we know the end of the story: Jesus wins.

It’s been the story since He walked out of the tomb the world thought He was going to stay in forever. It’s been the story since the beginning of time. And it’s still the story today and every day after.

Jesus wins. Death is defeated. He is alive.

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them,’Why do you look for the living among the dead?’ He is not here; he has risen!'” -Luke 24:1-6