Purposeful Faith

Category - faith

The Choice Before Us

We sat in the parking lot staring blankly ahead with the doctor’s words still ringing in our ears.

“Some people just can’t have children. Now is when you need to start working on accepting that.”

We were stunned in spite of the clues. The previous years’ experiences had pointed to this moment – the months of negative pregnancy tests, the losses, the testing and exams and poking and prodding, they all pointed to the possibility of infertility. Except now it was real. Now it was our story.

In the weeks that followed our diagnosis I found myself facing a critical juncture in my faith. I could refuse to believe that God might have plans for my future that include infertility and I could live in a state of anxious denial (a place I’d been sitting in for too long already.) Or, I could do as the doctor suggested, and work toward finding acceptance and faith and peace. For several weeks I chose the former and it twisted my stomach and heart in knots. Then one day I chose the latter.

Sometimes peace is a choice. Peace is a choice that doesn’t always come naturally for me, though. I tend to be an anxious person who likes to be in control of, well, everything. I want to know exactly how the day will go and I want to be able to manipulate my surroundings to fit what feels safe, secure, and right to me. But life doesn’t often comply with my version of how things should be. This is where faith and fear collide for me.

Life has taught me I have a choice in how I respond to things outside of my control. Things like infertility. I can’t always control how I feel about these things – if I could take away my grief and pain I would… who wouldn’t? But I can choose to believe in peace and love and hope.

On one of the worst nights of my life – the night I returned from the hospital after losing our first baby – I turned to my Bible for something that would bring me comfort. I don’t think I really believed peace was possible in my grief, but I just wanted something to get me through the night. I flipped the pages and they eventually landed in the book of Isaiah, chapter 54. My eyes fell on verse 10 and I began to read…

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”

In those words, I found everything I didn’t know I needed…

Unfailing love from the Father in the midst of tragedy and loss.
Peace that will never leave – no matter what.
And compassion for my broken and baffled heart.

In the months that followed, I found myself navigating the often lonely waters of grief and learning that I often wouldn’t feel peace, but Isaiah had told me it was there. So I made a choice to believe it, whether I felt it or not. Still today, I choose to believe that the peace that surpasses all understanding still covered my life even in times of turmoil. I choose to believe that hope is a fact.

I believe this is what Horatio Spafford had in mind when he penned the words to famous hymn, It Is Well with My Soul. After losing his son, his business, and then his four daughters (who drowned in a shipwreck) he wrote,

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know*
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

It is well. Or, as my son has taught me to say, “It’s Okay About It.” Saying, “it’s okay about it” or “it is well” doesn’t mean declaring that we are unaffected in the face of hardship and loss. It is simply choosing to believe that love, peace, compassion, and hope are true. That they are promises we can believe no matter what comes our way.

So though my heart broke in the pain of infertility and the grief of miscarriages I choose peace and hope, knowing that God will redeem my pain.

When my children suffer I remember God’s compassion for us.

When I face disappointment and rejection I declare the truth of God’s unfailing love.

When I face anxiety and panic over an unknown future and circumstances beyond my control I choose His covenant of peace.

Because of the truth of God’s word and the hope of heaven I can say with assurance, “It’s Okay About It.”

Lauren Casper is the founder of her popular blog, where she shares her thoughts on life, parenting, and faith. She is a top contributor to the TODAY Parenting Team and has had numerous articles syndicated by The Huffington Post, the TODAY show, Yahoo! News, and several other publications. Lauren speaks in various locations around the country at conferences, retreats, and church events. Some of her topics include: adoption and foster care, infertility, parenting children with special needs, building meaningful community, and facing fear.

Lauren’s first book, It’s Okay About It, released May 2, 2017. In it, Lauren shares poignantly simple yet profound wisdom about removing the barriers we construct around our hearts and doing life full-on, all from the least expected source: her five-year-old son, Mareto.

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12 Verses To Remind You: God will Provide

Self-Critical

Last night, I told my son, “Don’t get out of bed after I put you to sleep or we won’t be able to eat pie for breakfast.”

An hour later he was downstairs and next to me. It broke my heart. The fun of eating the mud pie we prepared the night before – for a breakfast party while my husband was out of town, was now going to have to be rescheduled.  I wanted to give, but now I had to take away.

For many of us, we believe God is always taking away just like I did from my son. We believe God is constantly removing goodness from our life, food from our table and providence for our future – because, we figure, we are messing up somehow.

It is easy to fall into this mind of thinking: I must have done something wrong. God is angry at me. I’ll never be blessed. I’ll always be stuck.

Yet, looking at the Word of God, paints a much different picture. I hope these verses encourage you. I pray they remind you what a provider God is. You can never fall out of his love.

12 Verses to Remind You: God will Provide

And my God will fully supply your every need according to his glorious riches in the Messiah Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Ps. 34:10)

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, How! (Ps. 84:11-12)

Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food? (Job 38:41)

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.  (Mt. 7:11)

The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him may your hearts live forever! (Ps. 22:26)

He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners. (Ps. 146:7)

The LORD will not allow a righteous person to starve, but he intentionally ignores the desires of a wicked person. (Prov. 10:3)

For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things. (Psalm 81:10 )

Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. (Gen. 9:3)

For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Ps. 107:9)

The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry. (Prov. 13:25)

Give us this day our daily bread. (Mt. 21:22)

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.
Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Stepping Into Your Calling

Your Calling

What is God calling you to?

It’s a very important question to consider.  Knowing the answer can make the difference between ongoing fulfillment and unending misguidance. This answer can radically shift the purpose of your life.

Have you asked God? And listened. Observed. Noticed.

And then asked Him again. Listened. Observed. Noticed.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13

Things are in the works my friends, on my end. I have something VERY exciting to announce in the next couple of weeks (and, no, it is not a baby…why do I always have to preface things with that?!). It is something that increases unity, brings restoration and that will change your life. I am sure of it. Oh, I can’t wait for you to know. To be a part of it.

But, I could have missed this calling altogether. I really could have. I was just considering this very thought this morning as I sat on my patio. I love to go out there in the mornings. I seek God, read scripture and absorb the Lord’s goodness. Well, this morning, as I tried to place my mind on Him above, I couldn’t. All I could hear was a consistent…SQUAWK!!! SQUAWK!!!

Get out of here!!! You are so annoying.

Try as I may to focus on how God wanted me to proceed with every He’d called me to, how to…SQUAWK! SQUAWK!

The shrill voice of the crows butted in once again.

And, I couldn’t: I couldn’t think. I couldn’t listen. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t get my mind off the annoyance.

What is squawking in your life right now? Making you believe you can’t hear God?

God never leaves us; it is usually our mind that leaves him. We always have the opportunity to return back.

Today, I sit with fresh resolve: I will not allow what is making noise around me – other’s voices, distractions of the iPhone, bad news on TV, uncertainty in the world, aggravation with a friend – keep me away from this question any longer –  “What is God calling me to?”

I’ll fight to hear him. Will you?

There is a very real enemy, with a very real plan to hold you back from God’s real good stuff. Are you letting him win?

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.
Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

When you are Kind of Okay

My mind keeps telling me: Kelly, you’re kind of a writer.

Kind of. Those words, again?!! 

I am kind of legit.
I have a book, but I still kind of question my writing.
I have another one coming some day in the future, but I kind of wonder if it will be any good?
I have some people who read this blog, but I kind of wonder if they’ll stick around?
I have creativity, but what if it kind of decides it wants to leave me one day?

Even more, I’m kind of a good mom.

I am nice, at times, but I kind of say this a lot, “You all are not listening or doing what I tell you.”
I am trying hard, but the kitchen is kind of a complete disaster zone.
I am kind of trying to keep up with the school calendar, I text moms a lot to see what’s going on.
I am kind of giving my daughter turkey too often in that lunch box.

I am a kind of wife too.
I kind of remember hugs or physical touch.
I kind of meet his needs before my own.
I kind of feel I impress him.

Can I tell you? Kind of stinks, friends. It’s so one foot in, one foot out. It is so hesitant to claim goodness. It’s so constantly wondering if it’s ever going to cross the finish line to peace.

Where are you kind of living?

Where are kind of okay with yourself?

Kind of makes everything temporary, conditional and based on you.
Certainty makes everything eternal, independent and based on God.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Ps. 40:2)

His rock is right here, in front of us. It calls to us. To you.

We can choose to step out of the mud and mire of thoughts, doubts, wonderings, hypotheses and theories – and make it to firm ground.

Ground where we become certain:

  1. God forgives.
  2. God helps.
  3. God grows us.
  4. God provides faith.
  5. God lights the way.

It is not a gray area. It is not nebulous. It is not done by a God who kind of shows up. No, with God: He does it. 100% he does it. He follows through and all we do is – stand firm on it.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.
Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

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How to Believe You are Really Loved

believe

Post by: Arabah Joy

I remember looking at her.

I remember looking at her. Withdrawn. Held back. Unwilling to join the rest of the family. Unwilling to come.

I beckoned and smiled. Patted my lap. Extended the invitation like I’d done a thousand times before.

She stiffened.

Then, like a thousand times before, she turned away. Scars from past abandonment, neglect, and abuse held her like chains to her chosen spot. She would not come.

In those early days of adoption, it was like God had given a mirror to look in. I saw myself in her. I saw how woundedness had caused me to withdraw, how I braced myself against warmth because I’d believed the lie that I didn’t need it, didn’t deserve it. I convinced myself I could do without love and acceptance. Slowly, the cold I surrounded myself with had seeped deep into my soul and distorted my perspective of life, God, and myself.

I was hard. Jaded. A real cynic but didn’t even know it.

And then I adopted a wounded one.

In doing so, God revealed to me something I’d never allowed the core of my being to truly accept: I was loved.

Surely one of the saddest things ever is to be deeply and lavishly loved but not have the eyes to perceive it.

What a tragedy, to get to the other side of life and see how one could have lived- as a dearly beloved child of God- but having missed it. Adoption taught me there’s such a thing as failure to “lay hold.”

“…So that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:12

Just as my Little Bit is of our household, never to leave, always identified with us, so we are in Christ. He is our brother, our family, and we are in the household of God. He has reached down and laid hold of you (Phil 3:12) and has taken you from the domain of darkness and abuse and rejection and pain and transferred you into the kingdom of the family- His beloved Son (Col 1).

We can sulk and hold back and piddle in the corner with our little pet toys… or we can reach out with both hands, press forward with all we’ve got, and lay hold of that which has laid hold of us.

I know what rejection is like. I also know the remedy for rejection is acknowledging the acceptance offered in Christ.

The remedy for neglect is embracing the love and warmth extended me in Jesus.

The remedy for abuse is running to the table of fellowship with Him, where I am always welcomed, loved, and nourished back to health.

Hiding out in the corner never did anyone any good … except the enemy who wishes to single us out from the rest in order to devour us.

As a mom, I knew I needed to help my precious one learn to embrace the new, push forward into the warmth, and lay hold. And that meant I needed to practice it myself too.

She and I began a messy, painful, glorious journey together. And last night at the dinner table, my Little Bit came and sat in my lap without being invited. WIN!! She has made such amazing progress in the nine years we’ve had her. I’m so very, very proud of her. I wouldn’t trade the healing we’ve both received for all the world! I’ve come to now how our Daddy feels when we trust Him and lean into His love, when we run to Him expecting to be heard and loved on. How His heart thrills When we assume He is who He says He is. Wow! What a God. What an AMAZING Father.

How about you, my friend? Will you join your sisters in coming out of the corner, putting down our pet emotions, stretching out our hands and opening our arms wide to embrace the grace that has been lavished on us?

You can do this. Together, we can lay hold. Let’s live as those lavishly loved.

Arabah Joy is wife to Jackson, adoptive and biological mom to 4 little ones, and missionary to East Asia. Her adventures span far and wide, from eating pig snouts to giving birth in three different Asian countries. Mostly though, she is a broken woman redeemed by grace. She has written several books including the 40 day devotional, Trust Without Borders. You can find out more and connect with her at ArabahJoy.com.

The Value in Going Low

Going Low

The two girls, in position, knew their job. They steadied their bent knees for the small gymnast to climb up and, before not too long, they supported her with their strong arms as she stood tall. Victory! 

The girl at the top was tall. Radiant. Glowing.

But, what about the women at the bottom? I can’t help but think, no one really likes being at the bottom. In the place without glory. In the place, unseen. In the place not valuable.

We find that place hard. It is hard to:

– Encourage a person who speaks with a tone of meanness.
– Pray for the girl you’re always sizing up.
– Be generous to one who already has so much.
– Give precious time to the neighbor who needs help with the groceries.
– Tell the truth when no one is looking or when it could hurt someone.
– Praise others, even when we feel they are better than us.
– Acknowledge and praise Jesus on hard days.
– Get on bended knee when our finances, future and relationships all are tumbling around us.
– To work hard onto the Lord even when you have a horrible boss or a critical husband.

But, getting in the position of bended knee, with the goal to lift high is tremendously valuable. Just think, how would that small gymnast find her position if no one lifted her?

Are we willing to lift Jesus, no matter how difficult it is not to be seen?

Will we lift the one who:

– Left the riches and glory of eternal paradise.
– Was born in a stable.
– Rode in on a donkey.
– Took our every whip and lash.

Jesus reminds us we can. He reminds us the value of losing our self to find something far greater. He died to his flesh, so we could come alive in our soul.

A lot of times, we must do the same: Die to our flesh, to come alive to our soul. Die to our flesh, to help others come alive in their soul.

It is the heart of the gospel.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Why Faith Hurts Sometimes

Faith Hurts Sometimes

My son limped into the kitchen unleashing small screams. He looked like a dog with a crippled leg and whined like Poodle just freed from a jammed doggy door. Needless to say, any enjoyment, quiet or solitude that comes with morning coffee left, quickly. “I can’t walk. I can’t….mommy!”

All 40-pounds of him appeared, stumbled and reached out for me in agony.

I didn’t move, just smiled and said, “Good, Michael, God is answering your prayers.”

Now before you think I’m the most insensitive mom out there, which at times, I can be, let me tell you: Kid’s been praying for strength. He’s also spent hours the day before playing at a jump-zone, a rough and tumble get-all-your energy-out kid playground of the indoor variety. Kid was plain-and-simple – sore.

Often, when we pray for strength, we’re shocked by the means in which we get it.

I explained to him how muscles tear when pushed physically, but how they repair stronger. They’re torn, so they may be rebuilt with more power.

Likewise, when we pray for growth, strength or to look like Christ, we’re often torn in order to be rebuilt with more power.

What tears are you experiencing today? What might be breaking for God’s remaking?

Be not discouraged, the tearing starts the rebuiliding. What he’s pulling on, will become more beautiful in time. What He’s doing is not to hurt you, but to help you. What strength you’ve prayed for, is likely in process.

We can’t see it in the moment, because, in the moment, is a test of sorts, kind of like this:

(Jesus) said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”  He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. John 6:5-6

Jesus was building Philip’s faith muscle. He tested it to see if it was strong and then, by multiplying loaves and fish, he ripped his disbelief and made it whole.

He’s likely doing that with us too.

What might God be calling you to believe in?

Inviting you to see?

Tearing so he can make it even bigger, bolder and better for his name?

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

You’re a Daughter, Not a Slave to Fear

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

I like to watch my kids when they don’t know I’m looking.

I eavesdrop on interactions between firstborn and little brother. I overhear whispers of imagination, hide-and-seek and Legos.

It’s not because I’m trying to catch them doing something wrong. On the contrary, I catch glimpses of their lives I might otherwise miss.

When they notice me, their response is always the same.

“What?”

And then comes the shoulder shrug. Like they’re waiting for a rebuke. As if I’m going to chide them for running or yelling.

I realize it’s partly my fault. Because many times, I do those things. And while I don’t apologize for it, I also want them to know I watch them because I relish in seeing them grow.

I’m a witness to these lives I helped create, and I love seeing them discover new things.

The other day as I was driving to the market, the new David Dunn song I Wanna Go Back came on the radio. It describes how as we grow older, we often lose our childlike faith and belief that we can do or be anything. Instead of being grateful we have neighbors next door to play with, we feel like we have to keep up with them.

So what does the artist want? To go back. He says he wants to go back to “Jesus loves me this I know…”

As I sat in the car listening and singing along, I thought, “Don’t we all?” I realized somewhere along the line, I forgot God watches me the love of a Father instead of an angry parent waiting to punish me. He sees me as a beloved daughter and a new creation, not a messed up kid who can’t ever get anything right.

But often, I’ll hit a road bump in life or a detour and say, “What?” Just like my kids. I think, “God must be punishing me for something I did wrong.”

I think, “Oh snap, God is watching me again. He must have seen that time I raced past the meet and greet or the time I avoided the prayer meeting.”

I don’t notice all the days he’s kept his eye on me and delivered me from harm. I race past the time he showed up through an encouraging note on an awful day and a friend’s offer to help.

What if we spent each day looking for glimpses of God’s love? Instead of fearing his rebuke, what if we looked for evidence that he’s watching us with admiration in his eyes, the same way I watch my kids?

If I see my kids with the joy of a mother’s heart, I know he sees me with a joy that surpasses my understanding. I know because the same God who created them created me. He created you.

When I got home from the market, I picked up our baby girl and put her on the bed. I didn’t try to hide the fact that I was watching her.

I smiled at her and she smiled back, her eyes all bright with the newness of an infant. As I took in her sweetness, I realized that’s how I want to be.

I want to smile back at God with the confidence of a daughter. A daughter who knows I’m worth more than many sparrows.

A daughter who knows he watches me with love.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Abby McDonald is the mom of three, a wife and writer whose hope is show readers their identity is found in Christ alone, not the noise of the world. When she’s not chasing their two boys or cuddling their newest sweet girl, you can find her drinking copious amounts of coffee while writing about her adventures on her blog. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog and her growing Facebook community.

I am thankful

I am thankful

I am thankful.

I just want you all to know – I am thankful.

Every day, I write stories that usually convey:

  1. I am annoyed one way or another, yet seeking more.
  2. I am discouraged by people, circumstances or problems and attempting to see things through new light.
  3. I am thrown off, but working my way back to God.

Many days, I’ve used this blog as a counseling session. I like it this way: I come with issues – God comes with strength. I come weak – the Lord comes strong enough to change me. I come needy, he comes increasingly ready to feed me.

This is our power, coming weak. This is our life change, coming needy. This is our faith, being reliant.

God answers this approach.

But, I don’t want you to ever think, not for a moment, that I am not entirely thankful. You see, my posture of leaning on him, almost always, helps me discover how he holds me up. It reminds me that, every time, he is faithful. It helps me see that through every bump in the road, He’s the shocks softening the jolting impact of life. He smooths my ride.

I call. He answers as I keep seeking.
I cry. He catches my tears when I focus my mind on him.
I am in pain. He understands and draws near as I pursue his Word.
I need. As I wait (which sometimes feels like forever), He faithfully and, in his timing, rushes in.

He’ll do the same for you.

What kind of grief do you need to lean up against him to know he is strong enough to hold it?

The counselor waits.

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Ps. 91:3-4

Maybe, like me, you’ll come out from an eating disorder, depression, financial trials, huge health issues or relational problems, thankful, in awe, and amazed at what he just saved you from – if you’ll just turn in.

Before you know it, He’ll work: soften your edges, sand off your rough spots, make space for his movement. Love and peace will come busting into your heart.

I’ve found this, after day-in-and-day-out writing on this blog…

I see God’s goodness in the land of my living grief, fear and guilt – when I run after it – hard.

What all seemed impossible, turned possible. We have the ability to reach God’s transcendent, his abundance. He loves us.

All this is the source of thanksgiving. As God enters the nitty gritty, the down and dirty of your life, you can’t help but lift your arms, lift your voice and give a good shout out to his character.

 

Today, I am thankful. What might you need to offer to God, knowing that soon enough, by faith, you’ll be giving thanks to God?

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

When You’re Not the Favorite

favorite beauty from chaos

Post By: Angela Parlin

They were the sparkly people.

This was my secret definition for the beautiful people who surrounded me growing up. My sisters, my best friends, the cheerleaders I wanted to grow up and be like. People with big personalities, who turned eyes without trying.

People watched them.

People listened to them.

People laughed at whatever they said.

People wanted to be with them.

They didn’t fear being seen, because they knew it was true—everybody wanted to hear whatever they had to say. They were the beautiful people through and through.

And I wasn’t one of them, at least in my perception.

So I was reading through Genesis again a few years ago, and I came to the story of Joseph. The part where his father loved him more than his other sons. I knew all about people like Joseph. I’d spent decades observing them. The sparkly people. The beautiful ones. People with big dreams, and all the pieces coming together into a perfect picture.

The truth is, my parents didn’t play favorites at home. I grew up with 3 sisters, and we were all entirely different, yet deeply loved. But beyond the walls of our home, another story unfolded. People responded differently to each of us, and the only problem with that? I noticed all these things. And as I stored them up in my heart, it broke.

I had never been a Joseph. I could only identify with his brothers—the other kids, the ones less chosen. The only thing I could understand was that longing for a coat of many colors made for me. Something to show I was picked, that I was also a favorite.

So my view of Joseph’s story had always been colored by my own story.

Do you ever find yourself so focused on one piece of the story, that you miss the whole rest of it?

I know I sound like Ms. Obvious, but there’s a whole lot more to the story about Joseph. His brothers threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave. And when the sight of him had his master’s wife all hot and bothered, her desire for him landed him in prison. But the Lord was with him, through it all. Even in prison, Joseph was put in charge. He continued to take what he was handed in life and do the next right thing. God repeatedly elevated him to places of honor.

Even so, Joseph spent years in prison, and when he interpreted dreams for some of the king’s former servants, he asked them to remember him when serving the king again. But they did not remember Joseph. 

This time around, I sat with these words, and I felt like I owed Joseph an apology.

I’d looked at his blessings—the way he was favored and handsome and put in charge. But what about his suffering? He was also trafficked, sold, imprisoned unfairly, and forgotten.

For the first time, I looked at Joseph’s story and saw his blessings and tragedies. I saw how the Lord was with him—from his original home to the pit, in slavery, at the king’s house, in prison, and in power.

The Lord remained with Joseph through it all, and He promises the same for you and me.

Joseph was chosen by God for specific purposes. But we are also created for specific purposes and the Lord also remains with us. We’re not so different from Joseph. Look long enough at your life and you’ll see where our Father is making beauty out of chaos. You’ll see that He’s working good even where harm was intended.

You’ll see He only makes beautiful, sparkly people. And that we’re all His favorites.

Favorites who once had blind eyes, but now we see.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50

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Angela Parlin

Angela Parlin is a wife and mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty In All This Chaos.