He Never Let Go

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It’s been months now that I’ve been stuck in this weird limbo space. Possibilities for big changes in my and my family’s lives are hanging in the air around me. And in case I haven’t mentioned it before, I don’t do great with change. It unsettles me to a greater degree than I can make sense of rationally.

And today, though I tried hard to talk myself through my fears, I finally lost the battle. The uncertainty caught up to me and stripped me and I broke down to God.

How long O Lord, till I know if the worst is coming? If my fears are coming true?

A peace fell over me and it was like I could feel Him holding my hand. And in my heart I “heard” or understood that He had never let go of my hand. In all of my anxiousness about what might happen and the dry desert of uncertainty I’ve been walking, He has never let go.

And somehow, that was reassurance enough.

Are you afraid of anything? Waiting on God for an answer? Pour out your fears and your grief to Him today and ask Him to meet you in it, too. He is near. He has never looked away, never forgotten you, never dropped your hand!

This verse meant a lot to me this week. Though I’ve read it a hundred times before it finally struck a chord in my heart.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.
Psalms 18:2 NLT

Just an Empty Coffee Cup

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Sometimes God asks us to do scary things.

Like when I got an email from our pastor a couple months ago, asking me if my son and I would get up in front of church together and talk a little about Father’s Day before the sermon.

Cue the Psycho music…

After the initial horror wore off, in the quiet I felt God’s “yes” in my heart, and so I accepted. And then started obsessing over what to say. SO many feelings people have on that day – it’s not just celebration, there’s so much heartache too. What if what I said I left someone out? What if I offend someone? Should I make it funnier, more engaging, deeper? Can I pray more about the content or for the people I’ll be speaking to?

Obsessive might not be too strong a word.

And yes, I am aware that this was just a little intro moment. A few minutes. (I wonder what pastors go through prepping an entire sermon every week?!) But I wanted, so much, for people to be touched by God’s love in those couple of minutes. I had to make that happen!

About a week in to this anxious preparation, I was reminded of an analogy a friend had shared with me years ago: We are like coffee mugs. The mug is not the coffee itself; it only holds it. In the same way we are receptacles, containers. We were made to be full of God. And by the Holy Spirit we ARE full of God! But here I was striving, trying to manufacture my own wisdom and goodness and love –  as if I needed to be the mug and the coffee. I act as if God needs my help to save the world! To say exactly the right thing right now!

In that quiet time, God brought me such peace. Jenn, stop striving and let Me move and work through you. I am the coffee; you just need to be willing and I’ll pour it out for them.

And suddenly I had such clarity about that Father’s Day talk – I knew what to say. I wrote it out and then could finally put it to rest.

…Of course, walking up onto the stage yesterday, the nerves were there. Lights, faces staring, a microphone. EEK! But then I took a breath and prayed in my heart, “I am the coffee cup. You, Father, are the coffee. You will give your children in this room what they need.”

And the words seemed to flow. I felt His heart for the people. And the rest is in His hands.

What are you striving at? Is there something you can entrust to God that you’ve been trying to make happen?

 

“I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” John 15:5