Purposeful Faith

Tag - Jesus

What Are You Waiting For?

waiting king of world

Post By: Angela Parlin

My last semester of college, I moved to North Carolina for an internship at a giant computer corporation.

I hated to leave school early, but they offered me a chance to work into my first real job, and I couldn’t pass it up. Just before I moved, my boyfriend proposed, and we decided to get married less than 6 months later. Just after college graduation. It was an exciting time, to say the least.

So I transitioned into a new job, and moved into what would become our first apartment. I learned our new city and made some new friends. And after setting up our apartment with just the basics, I laid out pieces of wedding paraphernalia on the nightstand beside my bed. It was a daily reminder of my new life to come, the life I was eagerly waiting for.

Do you remember a time when you longed for something new, just around the bend?

I studied a verse earlier this week, and it reminded me of this anticipation.

“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:28, ESV

Let’s talk about that last phrase for a minute. To save those who are EAGERLY WAITING for Him.

Jesus will come again, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.

I have a question for you, and it’s probably going to hurt a little. But I hope it brings you to a better place, and a new perspective.

Are you eagerly waiting for Jesus?

He is coming to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. But there’s just one problem.

We love the world instead.

We are eagerly waiting for all our dreams to come true in this life. We are waiting, for everything we love right here—for the work and accomplishments and people and events and promotions and possessions and all the plans we desire for our families, for our lives. Right here.

I hate to admit it, but my desires and dreams for this life compete with my desire for Jesus.

I’ve been involved in a love affair with this world, and it has prevented me from waiting eagerly for Jesus to come again. But the Holy Spirit used this passage to make me aware, and to lead me to repentance. There’s no better place to be, because repentance brings refreshment.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19

I don’t want to be waiting on all the amazing possibilities of this world.

I want to be waiting for the King of the world.

Let’s hope He finds us waiting for a new life to come. Waiting eagerly for Jesus.

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.

“Jesus, Show Me What You See….”

http://purposefulfaith.com/jesus-show-see/

Post By: Jami Amerine

The truth was, everything being divulged was an outright lie.

My stomach churned.

My gut cramped.

A burning sensation rose in my throat, beads of sweat pooled on my forehead as I willed bile back down.

Nausea swirled about me as if intentionally together, we spun miserably about a ballroom…naked.

Exposed.

I was hurt to my core.

Utterly undone, the feedback stung my ears.  The story being relayed to me, a story this person heard from my friend… my Christian friend was a lie.

I managed to behave as though the incident were laughable.  I changed the subject and then explained I had to be on my way.

The informant substituted concern, “I just knew you would want to hear it from me instead of someone else, don’t worry, I won’t repeat it.”

I tried not to guffaw audibly.  She’d already repeated it to four or five others, who I knew – knew, and now I knew they knew for sure because of their delicate treatment of me just hours before… I knew for sure.

I knew better than to trust… but, still was this really my fault?  Really?  Was I, the victim of a malicious lie, by someone I counted a friend, the one to blame?

Certainly, I felt like a fool.  Alone in my car, I wept… er, well… snot flinging hysterically wailed.  I was humiliated.  I checked the date.  Indeed, 2016… the circumstances had me briefly fooled to believe it was in fact 1986 and the last day of junior high.

Okay, I am a creative gal.  I plotted my nemesis’ demise.

I pulled through Starbucks and ordered something hot and decadent.  I knew stuff about this wretched “friend.”  An eye for and eye I thought.  And the tales I would tell would be the truth.

Why did she make up such a terrible story about me?

What made her feel the need to betray me?

I plotted and toiled.

I pulled my car into an empty place at the park, pulled my sweater from the back seat, grabbed my magic Java and decided to walk.  I had about 45 minutes until the afternoon rush.  I wanted to empty my head and pray.

The crisp March air borrowed only hints of warmer days to come.  I walked slowly and observed little buds forming on the trees.  Soon they’d expose entire blooms, for now there was only the hope that a late freeze wouldn’t destroy the mystic.

Tears nipped my eyes again.

Part of me wanted confrontation, the other part of me wanted to disappear.

I stopped and sat down on a bench and prayed.

“I am so hurt.  So, embarrassed.  So, angry. What should I do?”

There was no audible answer.  And I didn’t want to rehash the story to my husband or tell it to another friend.  I knew it was wrong, I didn’t need that affirmation.

I waited.

Somewhere on the breeze, I heard my answer.

Nothing.

I inhaled deeply and prayed a prayer that was not my own.

“Jesus, show me what you see.”

Suddenly, I was bowled over with compassion.  Immediately my lungs filled without ache.  Instantly I felt a rush of love and understanding.

I saw what He saw.

Tears bubbled up again, but I wasn’t angry.  I wasn’t even sad.  I was flooded with a wisdom that what I thought was a friendship was not.  I came to terms with that undoing in a supernatural way.  However, I didn’t believe this betrayer to be my enemy either?

I knew the truth.

My God knew the truth.  He loved her, and He wanted better things for her than juvenile lies that hurt me.  He was altogether for me… and yes, for her.  For her, He wanted her to live in the freedom of His abundance.  She was trying to make things happen, a busy-ness I was once a party to.  And as I sat and sipped my Mocha, He sat with me and offered me comfort and ask me to pray… and to let this one go.

I agreed, I would.

Sporadically, over the next couple months, the hurt would sneak up on me.  There was no way she didn’t know I knew.  It was awkward, but I was obedient to the agreement.  I let it go.  On occasion, it came up with a group of friends, I quickly changed the subject.  And it is not as if I am better than, I am just His.  I want what He wants and He wants restoration, peace, joy, and life abundant.

This scenario is not always the answer, but in this incident, I was in perfect sync with what Jesus wanted for this person and me.  Letting Jesus be Jesus was the most healing medicine for my hurt.  Later that summer she and her family moved and I have never seen or heard from her again. Yet I feel no lack of closure.  I need not retribution or malice.  I want God’s will and His will is always Jesus.

Since that day in the park, my chosen prayer is simply, “Jesus, show me what you see…”  And I close my eyes and wait.

For there is nothing hidden that not be disclosed and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.  Luke 8:17

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Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

Why I Declare There Is Hope Indeed!

Why I declare that hope is here image with a field of purple flowers by Katie M. Reid Photography

Post by: Katie M. Reid

Everything seems to be bursting with life these days: fragrant lilacs, strong oak leaves, delicate baby birds in their nests, and my friends’ bellies as their babies grow within.

The winter is over and spring is in full swing. Yet for some, things looks grim. Some are discouraged as they keep waiting with no end in sight. Others feel small, almost invisible in contrast to the loud and showy crowds.

But tucked within, deep inside that heart of yours He formed, He has planted the seed of something powerful.

Dig a little deeper, beneath the surface and see. It might be covered in dirt in the wake of rubble and ruins but it is present, not dulling with age. Even when you feel you’ve lost it, look for it, like buried treasure; it’s waiting to be discovered and held close.

Look closer, it’s there. It might be camouflaged—masked by hedges and shrubs, but hope is present. Its roots grow as you cut off the lies that choke life and fertilize with truth that gives life.

Yes, I declare, there is HOPE!

Look up instead of down and find it resting above, secure. Lasting hope is found in God.

Hope rises and you are changed because of what it brings to the mundane, how it sustains through the muck.

Hope can make all the difference between giving up and hanging on.

I know things are hard. I understand the wrestle, the stumbles, the worry, the here-we-are-again moments. Life is certainty unpredictable and can’t often be tied up in a nice, neat bow.

Do you fear the unraveling because you wonder if you can handle what might come your way?

Take heart! You don’t have to figure it all out. Call to mind what is true in this moment.

God wove you together and He holds you together. It’s not up to you alone.

Lean in. Lay your head on His chest as He keeps gently, yet persistently, telling you of His love until it sinks down from head to heart—until it works its way into the fiber of your being.

Your Heavenly Father stitched you together with care and affection, and sang over before He brought you forth. He is the Giver of this valuable gift.

Oh how you are loved with a sustaining, unwavering, life-giving hope.

And this hope is not stagnant, it is active:

It rests.
It gives life.
It usurps the impossible.
It is true.
It is lasting.
It is not taken down by circumstances or discredited by darkness.

Hope rises still; once buried but now resurrected.

There is always hope. And His name is Jesus.

Stand up, on two feet, and walk forward in Hope; a constant companion and faithful guide. Don’t apologize for it walking by your side.

Look up, hands up high and move. Go on, He is with You. And in Him: YOU HAVE HOPE!

Take the next step in confidence, with Jesus. He is our never-changing, ever-present, unwavering, unmatched, never-ending HOPE!

Romans 5:5 “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

Tune in to hope today!

Share hope with those around you.

Find hope in the promises of God, and you will not be disappointed!

Katie M. Reid Writer and Speaker at katiemreid.com

Katie M. Reid is a writer and speaker who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She inspires women and youth to embrace their identity in Christ and live out their God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea is one of her favorite things.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

We Will Not Stay Down

Post By: Angela Parlin

We had been going over the same set of details for days.

Each sit-down, hour-long discussion felt like we were walking around in two separate circles.

I could see how he was wrong, but he couldn’t.

He could see how I was wrong, but I couldn’t.

Add in miscommunications, assumptions, and misunderstandings, and there you have our reasons for walking in lonely circles of our own making.

I wouldn’t say we were angry with each other, but we both felt misunderstood. We were waiting for the other person to see our own point of view.

It took a few days before the light turned on and we joined hands and walked together again. In the light, I read through my journal and saw some things I hadn’t realized before.   I saw my own sin and the resulting sadness. 

I had been deceived.

We can be so deceived by sin, and fail to see it. Or admit it. Or turn from it. Sometimes, we don’t really want to see where we are wrong. It would feel better if only they  were wrong.

When were you last deceived by sin?

Every one of us chooses to sin at times, and others, we fall into sin. We are works in process. Sometimes, we fall and refuse to get back up for a while. Or we make a huge mess and track it everywhere, and then find remnants in hidden corners long after we’ve come clean.

Sin sticks like mud sometimes. And it’s messy. It can be lonely and make us feel trapped.

I pray with the psalmist, Lord, keep your servant from willful sins; may they not rule over me. (Psalm 19:13) And I remember His unending love.

He freed us from our sins, so they will not rule over us.

We are being transformed, and He’s not finished with us yet.

So Child of God, you may fall into sin, but you are not going to dwell there.

Jesus changed everything when He made a Way for us to be near God. He paid the penalty for all of our sin–and set us free from our slavery to sin. When we first trusted in Him, He planted love deep in our hearts, for Him and others. His new law of love.

“I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Hebrews 8:10b

You see, the old covenant failed because of the people’s unfaithfulness. But the new covenant cannot fail. The new covenant is based on what God did and does and will do.

The Lord who frees captives will continue to rescue us–every time we call to Him–out of any pit where we’ve fallen.

He is our God, and we are His people.

So we may fall, but we will not stay down.

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.

Can Someone Tell Me If This Is Good Enough?

Post by: Katie M. Reid

What is good enough?

If I greet him with a passionate kiss at the door and have the house picked up and dinner waiting on the table?

If I sit on the floor and play Legos with them or throw the football across the living room to him or listen to her talk and talk?

How much is good enough?

If you have an hour with God first thing in the morning or a time of intense study—marking key words, looking up the Greek, and understanding the chapter’s context?

If you spend an extended time of quiet listening, waiting for His instructions or pouring your heart out in prayer, until there is nothing left unsaid?

And while these are good things, in actuality, I think I’m approaching this all wrong- asking the wrong questions.

Do I just want to “do” so that I am approved?

Do I drive and strive in an effort to make the grade, to pass the course, to get attention, accolades, and shiny gold stars?

Who is really good enough?

I definitely am not!

I fall short. I flounder in my motivation and devotion. I lack. I leave others wanting by falling short of perfection.

Yet, He is good enough. More than enough.

I struggle to believe that I do not have to be perfect, or even good enough.

You too?

Do you wrestle with the truth, that in all our striving, in all our doing, in spite of all our creative and determined endeavors, it is not enough?

It’s not enough to save us.
It’s not enough to earn favor and right standing with the Lord.

Without Jesus, we are not enough.

I can hear the strong and self-sufficient ones arguing, “But I am capable and confident. Surely my works are enough to stay in His good graces!” “Surely I am enough for Him. I work so hard!”

But His grace isn’t earned. And apart from Him we have no good thing.

We don’t have to beg, plead, demand or steal to turn His gaze toward us. We are only required to make a choice: to believe and receive Him, or not.

  • Believe that He is Savior (The Forgiveness for our sins).
  • Receive His Sufficiency (The Enough for our lack).
  • Enjoy His Love (The Hope for our limitations).

In Him, with Him, through Him, we can truly live the abundant life and rest secure.

He says, “enough” to our try-hard souls—stamps it over our tired bodies, places His seal over our frayed selves.

He says that we are enough because He gave all by loving enough…so much more than enough.

We believe that Jesus is who He says He is (see John 1):

The Word
The True Light
The Lamb of God
God’s Chosen One
Rabbi/Teacher
Messiah/Christ
King of Israel
Son of God
Son of Man

He is all in all, sufficient, perfect, holy, the beginning and the end.

Thank You Jesus that we can lay down this “good enough” question and relinquish its power over us because You answered this “good enough” question once and for all, on the cross. Thank You for reigning in love over us. Thank You that we can sit down on the inside* because You have finished the work. Amen.

-Do you struggle with a “not good enough” mentality too?
-In what ways have you found victory in this area?

*I first heard this idea of “sit down on the inside” via Emily P. Freeman’s book, Grace for the Good Girl.

Katie M. Reid Writer and Speaker at katiemreid.com

Katie M. Reid is a writer and speaker who encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She inspires women and youth to embrace their identity in Christ and live out their God-given purpose. Katie delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Cut-to-the-chase conversation over hot or iced tea is one of her favorite things.

Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

The Women We Want Our Daughters To Be

women daughters

Post By: Angela Parlin

“Mommy, can I read something for all of us?”

From the backseat on the way home from school, my daughter couldn’t wait to share something from a book she’d checked out at the library.

“Okay, I need everyone to close their books and phones and listen.”

All the boys groaned. Isn’t it annoying when little sisters act like moms?

She read a verse to us from a little red devotional book. Then in her 9-year-old strong voice, she walked us through the explanation and application.

Later, she and I were heading across town for an errand. Again, she opened up her devotional and asked me if she could read to me.

Tears dripped down my cheeks as I listened. Because I remembered in that moment, there are a million ways I hope she grows past me…

Read the rest of this post at Angela’s site today, where she’ll be hosting the #RARALINKUP!

Feeling all the Feels…Riding the Wave

Post by: Jami Amerine

My week has been – ridiculous.

The list of life-altering changes include, a transitional end to our foster-love’s time in our home, the departure of our oldest son to Marine Bootcamp, our oldest daughter’s upcoming wedding, the release and launch of my book, potty training debacles, enormous new developments in my husband’s company, and the persistent comedic drama symptomatic of a household of nine.

On the evening after dropping our son at the Marine MEPS for his departure to San Diego, I couldn’t sleep.  My nose was slammed shut, my eyes were swollen, my heart was aching, and about 1:45 am I sat on the couch in our loft, fully clothed, and let loose.

Ugly cry is not even close to a valid definition of the performance.

I am surprised, no entirely amazed that I had that much left in me.  And I begged God for relief.  Out loud, alone in the dark I whimpered-wailed my need for His help.  Up until that moment, I had just rolled with the emotions.  I’d been laughing at sweet memories, crying at the unknown, smiling at the thoughts of what was to come, and angry it went by too fast.

I couldn’t take anymore.

I needed some sleep.

I needed Him to stop the ride and let me get off… even if it was only for 5 hours.  I pleaded, “Please Jesus, help me… please, I am so tired, I just need to…”

Just then, my phone rang with a caller I.D. from California.

It was 1:48 a.m.

Just as I’d been informed, I heard my son’s voice is a sea of other hollers;

This is Marine Recruit…  I have arrived safely… the next time you hear from me it will be by postage mail in 2 to three weeks. I love you.  Goodbye.”

The scripted call I’d been told about at just that moment in the midst of heartbreak came, I can still hear him.  He sounded tired, stressed, and… hungry.  Whatever, I know him. That was his “I want a grilled cheese sandwich” voice.

And, I let loose a brand new emotion… gratitude.  I remember I started my new brand of weeping about 1:49 a.m…

I remember nothing else until 7:00 a.m… when my alarm went off to wake the children.  Fully clothed, jewelry, streaks of tear stained make-up, and my shoes –  I was startled awake and painfully crooked.

Somewhat refreshed, with a perpetual lump in my throat I limped through packing lunches and fixing hair, the toddler sons said something delightful and I giggled.  A tween left a wet towel on the bathroom floor and I grumbled.  An email popped up from an old friend offering prayers and another tear escaped.

This rollercoaster of emotions is indicative of this life.  The relief when I need it comes from my Jesus.  The rest… the rest is a blessing.  The release of tears celebrating, missing, wishing, and hoping for change or good – are part of the creation He fashioned.  Not to punish or test me, but to give me release and a reminder of my design.

In the midst of that gift, when I was most in need, He answered.  He sent a phone call, sure – it was due, but it came right when it was most needed… in the midst of my pleas.  And then, He blessed me with unconsciousness and much-needed reprieve.

My emotions and nerves are on high alert.  I am a compulsory explosion of sunshine and rain.  I am hitting every single cylinder.  And I am confident He who created me, will walk through this with me.  He is for me.  He came to bind my broken heart.  He came to comfort, heal, and nurture.  To grieve or rejoice, I am nearer to Him.  He knows me and adores me.

In my weakness He is strong.

He is my rock and my fortress.

I will ride this wave, reveling in these reactions, delighting in this life, and I will not go down with the ship.


Psalm 89:9You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.

Jami AmerineJami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

When You’re Waiting for the Next Great Thing

wait next great thing

Post By: Angela Parlin

I couldn’t wait for my life to begin.

I crossed off another day on the calendar. Soon I would load up my Chevy Cavalier and move into my first, tiny, post-college apartment. I’d purchase my own food each day. I’d wear Business Casual Monday through Friday, and pull an IBM lanyard around my neck each morning. I’d sit poolside on weekends, reading all the fabulous novels I never had time for while in school.

There were so many things to look forward to when we were young. We took a step, turned a year older, completed a milestone, and then we looked ahead to the next great thing.

Double digits.

Being a teenager.

Earning a driver’s license.

Living on our own.

Childhood dreams were made of these things.

It was the same through college, where we checked off one step at a time, eyes always fixed on the next great season.

Before I knew it, I was learning the ropes of the corporate world and counting down the days until my wedding. After that, we looked forward to this trip or that and hoped for a baby and added to our family and survived multiple toddlers at once, and we continued to build.

My whole life I’ve been climbing, building, and looking ahead to the next great thing.

Sometimes now, I find myself looking back. I long for the good old days.

They passed far too quickly, if you ask me now. I wouldn’t have said that then, but I was clueless. I often failed to realize so much hidden beauty between the chaos. We don’t know what we have until it’s gone, after all.

We are prone to wanting what we don’t have, what we hope to have, what we used to have.

We look ahead, hoping for an ideal, assuming the next season will be something better. We want the current hard stage to pass. But then a new season arrives, and with it, new difficulties we didn’t plan. So we look back and long for old comforts.

At least, I do.

We find something similar in Hebrews 7, where some newer believers were longing for the not-so-good old days.

They were suffering persecution, and many of them wanted to return to the law, to Judaism. Then they would be part of the crowd again. When life got tough, they lost sight of the Better Hope they’d been given.

They lost sight of Jesus and His amazing benefits.

For the law made nothing perfect, and a Better Hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:19

We could talk for hours about the Law, but we probably wouldn’t want to. What I mean is, it’s hard for us to understand all the implications of living under the law as opposed to living under the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. But the difference was everything. Jesus still makes every bit of difference in our daily lives.

Because of Jesus, we have this amazing privilege–to draw near to God.

Under the law, worshipers had to stand out in the courtyard while the high priest represented them before God. They also had to fulfill so many regulations.

We have a full-access pass to the Throne of Grace. He makes His home within us. Maybe we’ve lost sight of this gift?

We know our greatest good will never truly be found in the next great season or another chance or a smoother road. That’s because our greatest good will always be found in drawing near to the Lord Jesus.

What if we exchange all our longing, for building into and climbing toward and waiting on a place where “real” life really begins?

We’ll be looking forward to the next great season, after all.

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.

Mercy, Grace, and the Wall-Eyed Fit

Post by: Jami Amerine

Our foster-love has entered into the broad world of the wall-eyed fit.

We have epoxy-stained concrete floors in our house.  It only took a couple times for her to rethink throwing her entire body weight onto the floor and screaming her head off.
It hurts, so the effectiveness of showing her frustration was overruled by the knot on her noggin.

Now, when she is frustrated she gently sits, then lies blithely on the floor… and then proceeds to throw a fit.

We cannot help but giggle as the drama of her tantrum is overridden by her cautious technique of getting to the pinnacle of the spectacle.

Often we wonder, as long as it took her to get prostrate had she forgotten what she was mad about?

And this may seem silly but recently I was upset with God.  I felt He had pulled the rug out from under me.  I found myself flat on my back, hurt and angry that He hadn’t been there to stop the insanity train from leaving the station.

For the better part of two days, I ignored my habitual instinct to “pray without ceasing.”  I found myself audibly saying, “I am not ready to talk to you about this…”

I went so far as to get out some stationery and pen to write out my complaint. With Thesaurus in hand and my gift for the written word, I would tell God exactly how I felt about the current downward spiral.

Yet the longer I postponed the tantrum, the more I worked through the calamity, the more my vision cleared… and all of the sudden I had new clarity.

He didn’t do this to me.

There were natural consequences for our current trial.  He was not dishing out troubles, yes He allowed them and then walked with us through them, but He was not in the business of destroying us.

When did I first believe Him to be cruel I do not know?

But I am rejoicing in the new-found message of GRACE.

Freedom in Jesus wasn’t something He promised just to hear Himself talk.
If we are free… then we are free indeed.

How I love falling into His arms.

How I need Him to catch me and show me it is all okay.

He makes all things new.  And all things work together for good for those who love Him.  In the midst of a trial, I was refreshed and renewed that He was for me.

He is for my marriage.
He is for my children.
He is for my good will.

Who is this God who we encourage others to adore?  Is the walk of salvation a trick manifested just to get others to fall in line?  Or is this the real deal?

Pray, I say to you He is so real… so dear and wise.

In my folly, I have questioned Him. In the explicit moments, He has welcomed me, without judgment or harshness, and allowed me to lie at His feet and worship.

What God is this that shows such mercy and love?

My God… my love and life’s breath.  He will never leave me or forsake me.

He is for me and He is with me, affording mercy and grace… even unto the carefully executed wall-eyed fit.

Matthew 10:16 (NASB)”Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” 

 

 

Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

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Which Hope Are You Holding Onto?

anchor hope

Post By: Angela Parlin

“We just have to hold onto hope!”

She said it quickly, at the end of our short conversation at the shopping mall. Then she walked out the front door, and I didn’t have a chance to respond.

I immediately wondered, Hope in what though? Isn’t that the real question? What are you putting your hope in?

Which hope are you holding onto?

I’ve been facing that question since summer ended, as a number of changes happened at once in my life. I’m not a big fan of change, and the whole situation rocked me. I often felt discontent and discouraged. I struggled to choose joy.

I know the source of my (capital H) Hope—my true and lasting hope for eternity. But when life throws me for a loop and certain comforts, joys, and securities are removed, I learn I’ve been holding onto those little ideals and hoping in them.

I realize now how much I needed this season of change in my life. It’s never comfortable, and I may always resist change initially. But I’m thankful for it, because it’s teaching me to trust in Jesus as my Hope in every area of life.

Jesus is our Hope for eternity, but He’s also our Hope for today.

Recently I returned to my study through the book of Hebrews, and right where I picked up, the author speaks of hope. He encourages believers that their Hope is certain and unchanging.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews 6:19-20a

Our souls need an anchor, in part because of this rapidly changing, dark, and destructive world we live in. But what about our own double-mindedness, our sin, and our shifting thoughts and feelings?

I don’t know about you, but my soul needs an anchor in the sea of my own humanity.

And we have this Hope.

This Hope is an anchor for our souls.

The anchor holds, firm and secure.

We can’t tell the same story about lesser hopes. When we’re holding onto lesser hopes, it’s like tossing our ship’s anchor into shifting sands. It’s basically ridiculous. But we all do it!

We hold out hope for things that will not endure. We hold onto things that will not fulfill.

When these fail us, we best fall back on our real Hope. Because Jesus went before us, we are able to enter into the inner sanctuary. This means we enter the Presence of God, because Jesus made a way for us to have direct access to the Father.

Today, let your Hope {in Jesus} be the firm and secure anchor for your soul.

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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. Check out the free Writer’s Guide there, and subscribe to the Ladder2Rooftop newsletter.

More Reading:
10 Ways to Shine Christ On Christmas

Being a Perfect Christian

Finding Renewal in Christ