Peace In The Present

Recently, so many things were up in the air for me. There were several options open to me that I could take, decisions that needed to be made, waiting for one job to start, wondering about things like marriage (everyone is asking me about it, so I figured I might as well not act like I don’t think about it  :P)… Needless to say, my mind was busy, cluttered, disorganized, and at times felt overwhelmed.

I was displeased, frustrated, and impatient. So many things were in line, ready to just happen – but why weren’t they happening? What was the hold up? Thankfully, through lots of conviction, prayer, and surrender, God brought me to a place of contentment and joy. Now, I’m enjoying my present, rather than comparing it to the future. Sure, I still think about the future at times, but it doesn’t cause me feelings of angst. I’m not freaking out about the switch in jobs. I don’t feel worried about the lack of income. There aren’t nearly as many sad feelings about my bare ring finger. I’m also not struggling as much with jealousy, and am able to rejoice with my friends who are entering into engagements & marriage.

I guess all this can boil down to three things:

  1. An obedient heart is a delight to the Lord. He answered my prayer for a change of heart so quickly!
  2. When your eyes are set on the things from above, eternity becomes much bigger and more realistic to your eyes. The things of now seem more minuscule.
  3. Your future is gently & firmly held in the mighty and caring hands of our God, who promises to provide for you. Who are we to worry about it? Worry is a rejection of God’s promise to provide. We may have plans, but they don’t always unfold like we envision. We must know and trust that no matter what, God will provide if we seek his righteousness and kingdom. It’s his promise to us.

Once God brought me to the place I needed to be, things started to happen, and God showed me why he took the time that he did. I found myself asking, “Why did I even doubt his timing, or get wrapped up in my confusion? What a waste of time.” Things with my jobs got worked out. My mind feels less cluttered. I think I am going to work harder on getting a photography business started. I am fully enjoying where my and Jay’s relationship is right now, learning more about each other and ourselves. Of course I so much look forward to being engaged and then married someday, but I’m loving where things are. I’m in such an interesting part of my life, and it’s so temporary. In fact, it will probably be the most short-lived stage of my life! Once things change, it’ll never be like this again.

So, I’m enjoying where I am now. I am learning more about obeying my Father. God’s training my mind and eyes to focus on the things from above. I’m resting in his perfect provision.

And it is so, so good.

Joyfully,

Blythe

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Monday Morning

There’s nothing quite like that feeling when our Heavenly Father’s Spirit pricks your heart and says,

“Why haven’t I been first in your life lately? Your heart has not been desiring my will above all else.”

My heart sank when I heard this, and I instantly felt awful. I was tempted to shove Him out of my mind, and carry on about my morning.

What a mistake that would have been.

I made myself french toast, and ate it despite the fact that guilt was eating away my appetite. I slowly began to pray little by little, confessing and asking for forgiveness – I could feel God’s gentle but rough hands work on my heart. It hurt. I wanted to stop praying and continue going on about my day, but I knew that I needed to do more.

I went upstairs, opened my Bible and journal, and began an intimate conversation with my Lord. I didn’t hear His voice per se, but He showed Himself to me in His word – and in my weakness. I am so thankful that when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10)! I need His strength every day, because I am weak every day. So very weak – and selfish. Instead of allowing God to reign in my heart, I have let certain desires of mine to take the throne. There are things that I want, and I want them now. I haven’t been patient with God’s timing… But what good reason do I have to not wait joyfully, peacefully, and obediently? Our Father’s timing is perfect and good. So, I will wait.

Upon asking for forgiveness this morning and dwelling on who God is, I was reminded of how His mercies are new every morning. As Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV) says,

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

How wonderful is that? In the NIV translation, verse 22 is worded like this: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

Oh, hallelujah  :).

These verses also got me to thinking about how I should reflect God’s character, and also be merciful every day. As I said in my Facebook status,

“If God’s mercies are new every morning, then ours should be, too. This means no grudges. This means forgiveness. This means giving grace as it has been given to us.”

(I just quoted myself. Is that weird? I think it’s a little weird.)

I ended my journal entry this morning by listing four things that I was thankful for. To end this blog post, I’ll share the list with you:

  1. God’s renewed mercy every morning
  2. His love
  3. His gentle Spirit
  4. His word

Drowning in His mercy,

Blythe

Undeserving

I’ve realized something as of late.

I push away what I don’t deserve – even though it’s usually what I desire the most.

I first noticed this during an argument my boyfriend and I were having. I don’t remember what it was about, but we were both upset/frustrated. Jay, being the wonderful guy that he is, said “I love you”, and started to give me a hug. I, in response to this kind and wonderful gesture, pushed him away. I pushed him away, even though the whole time we were fighting, that was all I wanted him to do. However, I felt too undeserving of love to accept it.

I ask myself often, “I don’t deserve love, so why should I accept it?” I’m glad that when Jay went to hug me I realized that I didn’t deserve to be loved like that, or anything close to it – I’m an awful sinner who deserves hell. However, Jesus died on the cross (Romans 5:8) and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:4) to make it possible for us to love as He loved (1 John 4:19). The Bible tells us over and over to love one another (1 John 4:7, Galatians 5:14…) – and never once does it tell us not to accept love. I can accept love, and I know that God wants me to – He shows His love to me all the time. Why should I ever push away God’s love? It’s true – I don’t deserve it. He’s aware of that. But He’s also very, very, very aware of the (loving!) sacrifice He made for me when He sent His Son to die on the cross. That’s true, unquenchable, crazy, and unconditional love. It’s a love that God intended for me to accept, so I can live a life pleasing to Him, and live forever with Him in heaven.

God shows His love to us in many ways – from Jesus dying on the cross, to a stranger waving “Hello”, to your boyfriend hugging you in the middle of an argument to remind you that you’re still loved by him.

I will continue to love people as best as I can with God’s help, but I will also try to learn to accept love. Instead of shoving someone’s effort to love me back in their face because I don’t feel deserving of them, I will accept their love and be thankful for the grace that God has given me.

In Him & through Him,

Blythe