HisGraceRose

Life. And The Pursuit of Jesus.

Press Pause

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He knows us. He knows us. Now pause. Ponder that statement. As if the gravity of that statement isn’t enough to attempt to comprehend on its own, He goes beyond that. He couples that truth with an undeniable ability to meet the deepest needs of our hearts in ways that only He could.

Today is a snow day. A rest day. A day of rest enforced by the natural world He created.

To me, snow has almost always been correlated with rest. It’s peaceful. It physically quiets its surroundings. And it inevitably forces us to pause from our busy lives. Busyness that so often interferes with our pursuit of Christ despite our good intentions.

I think we all have places or ways that God speaks to us specifically and uniquely. For me, it’s by the ocean or when I’m surrounded by snow. These two “places” are where I sense Christ’s presence the most. I have deduced many reasons as to why this is the case but simply put, He created me in such a way that these places speak to me about His heart. And my own. This is where He speaks to the deepest corners of my soul. Snow, like the ocean, quiets my mind and my heart. It brings life to my soul. In these places I become aware of Him differently and more deeply. Here, without a word, I am simply aware that He knows me. That He sees me and that He knows my heart – He created it after all:

Psalm 139:1-18

1 “You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.”

My heart needed this.

I have been drowning in the midst of chaos.

Today He pressed pause in my world  and invited me to slow down, seek Him and rest.

I am overwhelmed in the deepest way.

Humbled.

Thankful beyond words.

By grace I have been saved.

AND

He knows me.

Moments

Do you ever have moments where you simply have the desire to write? Me neither. Just kidding, but seriously, I very rarely have the desire to write. My theory is that my brain works faster than my hands, thus, the thought of trying to transfer my thoughts on to paper (or hypothetical paper) is beyond overwhelming. Maybe if I had more self discipline this wouldn’t be so difficult… Regardless, I’ve been wanting to write. Often. Maybe my thought life has gotten the better of me and my head can no longer contain all the thoughts swirling around at warp-speed. Or perhaps it is due to the fact that I am on my very first “visit” home. On this trip I found out that visiting where I grew up creates a lot of nostalgia (go figure, right?) and unexplainable emotion. I can’t even begin to process what I’m feeling, and for an INFP that is weird.

I found out that it is much easier to get along with family when I know I’m simply stopping in. I found out that things change quickly and they do it regardless of whether or not I’m here to be a part of it. I learned that I am exceptionally blessed to have two families – one here, one there. I learned that I miss the memories I have here. I learned that I am changing. I re-recognized (not actually a word) that I am not defined by my experiences here but that I am incredibly thankful for all of the good ones that took place here. I’m thankful for pictures. Many, many pictures. I am thankful for relationships – the ones I had, the ones that have lasted and all of the new ones. I am thankful to be free.

Colorado is my home. My family is here. I began following Jesus here. I love being at church here. Some of the biggest changes of my life have taken place here. But, this is also the place where I was wrecked internally. Where my heart got pummeled. Where I allowed so many lies and wounds to overtake my life and my identity. My heart was taken captive by hurt and anger in this place. But I love this place. I love the mountains, the snow, and all the wonderful people I have been blessed to know here. There are good memories here. There is beauty here. I  found out what being loved unconditionally is here, by both God and His people. Ironically, it was in this place (and on many road-trips to the Atlantic coast)  that I realized I could break free from my past and the lies that have so deeply scarred my heart and that I wanted to.  The desire that sparked in my heart for redemption and freedom began here.

South Carolina is where I belong. At least for right now. This place has brought such freedom to my heart. It is my new home. My best friend is there. My “other” family is there. So many new friends are there. The ocean is there. My house is there. My car is there. My job is there. My life is there. God led me there and has taken such good care of me. He has set aflame what once was the spark for a redemptive story with such magnitude that even my whimsy-prone mind could not and still can not begin to fathom. His timing is perfect. This is where my heart and my identity have started to shift. I have started the process of letting my past and my wounds go. There is power in moving away from a place. Not running. Moving. When He calls you. My new home is where I  get to begin to discover who I really am and who I was created to be by the Great I Am. Separate from that other beautiful, painful place.

I am ready to continue the journey in this next season. I am ready to grow, to be challenged, and to listen. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to get here. And I wish I was better at choosing Him over me. Fortunately, He isn’t impatient even though I so often believe otherwise. And, He is kind. My prayer in this next season is that I continue to trust Him, to choose hope, to choose His whispers of Truth over the shouting of lies and to follow His lead – wherever that may take me, no matter how hard it is and how it may challenge me. I want to be second.  There will be good days and there will be bad days (probably more often than not) and the fight won’t be easy. But, I want to be His and I want to be truly free.

I’m trying to soak up every minute with family in my last few days here. I know that I will be sad when I get home to South Carolina. Once I get back I’ll probably miss my family more than I can even imagine. But, I already  miss my family there. It’s silly and cliche, I know. But these things have created such a strange juxtaposition of emotion within my heart. I am humbled and I am thankful. My heart is heavy yet incredibly joyful. I have been on my knees and in tears on this visit. I have been moved by His goodness and I am thankful for His peace which transcends all understanding, especially amidst such times of intense change and growth. It is always hard, but with Him, it’s always worth it.

Perspective is everything and I realize that all of these things probably seem fairly obvious but to experience all of it, to the very core of your soul, THAT is different.

I love these moments. I wish they would come more often.

Freedom - New Life. New Identity.

“God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing. All you need is faith.” Joel 2:25

As I have walked through life, in my mere 26 years, I have found that Satan most often attacks our identity. There is nothing he would like to destroy more. That said, it is important to seek our Father’s heart and find our identity in Him. This past year I have journeyed much and changed much. Pain, joy, freedom and loss have marked this year. But more than that, it has been marked by redemption and restoration – and peace. He has given me new life, and is undoubtedly and continually giving me a new identity. And it’s just the beginning. My hope is that as I begin to wade through the depths (and simplicities) of my heart, my wounds and joy, I might be able to find more of His heart. And that others might be able to process some of the things in their own heart and take them to Jesus. We are not alone in the journey but, “The only One who can truly satisfy the human heart is the One who made it.” We are His and He is ours – “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
-Wendy Mass