December 26, 2011

It Was There

It was there that I met Him.

He found me at the place where every day I was reminded of what humiliation and shame were.  At the well where I drew water, always by myself, was a Man. It was almost as if He were waiting for me there, with such a calm patience that my self-pity dried up like desert dust.

He asked for a drink and I cringed. I expected the familiar, the usual insult and the accusing stare. Or perhaps He was there to be added to my list, to become just another man in my line-up.

One look into His eyes told a different story. In those dark eyes I saw something I’d never seen before. It went beyond looking at what I had done, or worse, who I had allowed myself to become. Oh, He saw my broken past, my filthy heart, my sin-sick hopelessness. But He did not see a shamed woman, scorned by her people and stained with mistakes. He didn’t see a Samaritan to be despised and looked down upon. No, in His eyes, with the loving out-look of a Father, He saw a being formed with His own hands, a soul who had chosen to sin against Him. And He knew  – all of it. Such naked shame before God I felt, all because of this nameless Man sitting at the well.  Though my heart was laid bare, exposed, there was a promise in His mannerism. It seemed that He named my disease because He also knew the cure.

Christ, Messiah, the long-awaited and rumored One had stopped on His world-saving journey to speak to me. He sat at this well that had been a source of degradation and embarrassment and promised to a lowly sinner a new start.
Tears filled my eyes as He offered me water from the everlasting fountain. My hands shook with fearful remorse over my wickedness and with anticipation of renewal. That water pot, cracked and heavy, fell to the dust as I grasped hold of salvation. This Jesus, who knew every ounce of my filthy life, had the power in Him to not only speak to me, to offer me eternity, but found in Him the power to forgive.

His disciples came then with their whispers and their confused looks, but for once, I did not care. Their questions didn’t sting, their disdain did not hurt. No, for the first time in a long time, a smile spread across a mouth that had spoken so much guile, had deceived so many. For now, my lips would only speak of and praise that precious name – Jesus! What a friend for sinners! Jesus, the lover of my soul!

•  John 4: 1 - 42 •

"Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

December 8, 2011

Honey French Dressing

One fancy Christmas dinner + white tablecloth + a clumsy me = a recipe for embarrassment and a lesson learned.

Yes, that's me. The girl who is invited to a fabulously fancy Christmas dinner at a historic mansion. The girl who attempts to delicately pour Honey French dressing on to her bowl of perfectly arranged salad and spills. Granted, it was a quiet spill, no one besides the girl sitting next to me really noticed that a giant orange sticky puddle had collected next to my plate in the starch white tablecloth. My face probably matched the color of that horrendous looking ooze. After blinking at said puddle a few times, I quickly stuck my program for the evening over it. To my dismay, the dressing immediately soaked through the list of musicians and speakers, leaving their names blurred with that blasted French dressing.

As a side note, I never eat French dressing. However, in the spirit of the evening, I'd decided to try it. Never again, French dressing, never again!

Anyway, the dear friend sitting next to me gave a polite giggle as I fumbled for her teacup and saucer to set on top of that paper program that was now sopping with Honey French. Needless to say, I sent up a selfish prayer that I would be able to leave the building before whomever found their how-ever-expensive white tablecloth marred with such a hideous orange stain. Of course, this was not my only infraction for the evening, but definitely the most prominent, and certainly the most embarrassing to myself.

I was mortified as my friend finished drinking her tea. I no doubt looked sallow as the waitress reached down to lift up that teacup to cart it, and it's saucer, back to the kitchen. For a split second, I thought of snatching it from her hand and setting it back over that stain. Or better yet, sticking my nose in the air and pretending I had never seen that sticky orange goo before in my life. Instead, I sputtered through a quick explanation to the waitress, and thanked her in my head for at least leaving the bulletin over the stain so it wasn't brightly (excruciatingly) obvious to all of the other well-dressed ladies at my table. With a sigh, I wagged a finger at the incriminating stain and attempted to enjoy the rest of the program without looking at it glowing in the Christmas light.  Only thing to do was smile through the mortifying mess it had made of me.

All in all, I find it rather amusing now. How we let the little thing affect us so much! Even more so, that stain so much is a representative of our sin. In no way am I saying that spilling anything on accident is a sin, but rather, my desperate panic to attempt to cover that stain is so similar to our own covering of sin. We want to make sure no one sees that mistake, no one knows that we have sullied the beautiful, saved life that the Lord has given us. But of course, the Honey French of sin always seeps through and unless we own up and confess it, it will continue to soak into every aspect of our lives.  The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy!”  Confess it, forsake it, and He will take care of it.

So this Christmas season, keep your sin confessed up before the Saviour and at all costs, avoid Honey French Dressing.

- Beth

November 30, 2011

Dear You

Dear You,

Yes, you. The one with the pretend smile and the sad eyes. I don't know what rests so heavy on your heart today, but He does. I cannot tell you how to fix it, I can't make it hurt less, or point out the right direction or decision for you to choose or make. There are no words to be conjured up in this silly brain of mine that can be of any comfort to you. These words, His words, though, are the only anchor that can hold your soul while the waves of this troublesome life crash around you. "...For Thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble."

I recognize the dark clouds swarming over your head. The shadows in your eyes reflect times in my past and times yet in my future. I understand your confusion and your pain, but you know what is even more comforting than the understanding of a nobody like me? There is Another who understands pain, and better yet, He can take it away. All you have to do is lay that heavy weight at His feet and walk away with your hand in His.

Stay strong, keep the faith, never give up.

Love, Me.                                                                       


 It's hard to believe Christmas is around the corner, I do love to decorate! Home cannot come soon enough.

 A special thanks to Grace and also Emily for the super cute jewelry. Such a sweet surprise to find a little package holding a free necklace and bracelet in my mailbox just before Thanksgiving!

November 8, 2011


This month is simply going to fly by. As I scribbled down the date on my way to class, a friend and I mused over how quickly November is escaping us already. In light of that, this will most likely be the only post on this blog for the rest of the month. There is simply no time! With the semester winding down to a close and a break from school eagerly inching closer, I fear my drive for doing anything constructive is ebbing away. However, while I have a few quiet moments, these words need to be finished.

Floating around Facebook these days are status updates about being thankful. I suppose November would claim this precious virtue to itself simply because we celebrate our "thankfulness" with turkey, stuffing, and gluttony.

Thankfulness, I think, deserves more than the recognition it gets simply for being associated with cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. To me, it's like this quiet sort of, "Wow, God, you're really amazing and I am so dreadfully undeserving!"  A redeemed soul should be in such awe and gratitude every day, not merely after being reminded to be so! This ungrateful heart of mine is the most guilty of all in this matter. I tread day in and day out without once thinking of that splintered Cross and the sacrifice made there for my soul. Sure, I do devotions, talk to the ever-giving Saviour, and even speak of Him and what He's doing in my life to others. But gratitude for what He ultimately did for me doesn't claim nearly enough thought. For this, I can only plead forgiveness!

I would like to, though, list a few things that I am so thankful for. If for no one else but myself, to look back on as a reminder of all that my Lord has so graciously bestowed upon me and allowed me to enjoy.

1. My Saviour and my salvation! He's been so, so good.

2. A family who loves Him enough to love me right. Parents who raised me according to the Bible, a sister to make me laugh, a brother to teach me to think and find joy in the little things (like ants), and a baby brother to show me what it means to be a servant and to care about the details. I couldn't ask for more.

3. The best friends on earth. Friends who love the Lord and want to please Him above all else.

4. Patience. Even when I tangle myself in situations that could have been avoided, when I let hurt affect my testimony, when I end up being my silly human self, God and the aforementioned family and friends refuse give up on me! Thank you, thank you!

5. Christmas lights. Yes.

6. The changing of seasons. I love the sweetness of Spring, the cozy-warmth of Fall, the adventure and memories of Summer, and the restoring closeness that Winter brings. Each time these seasons pass, I feel a little more like a new person.

7. Jelly beans. Also, yes.

8. Mission trips. I can't imagine how self-absorbed my perspective might have been had the Lord not provided for me to go on three missions trips. I cannot wait to see where God leads and directs next and what He will continue to let soak into my heart through the places He's already allowed me to go.

9. A healthy body that can walk, talk, and function like it should.

10. Coffee, boots, shelter, a college to attend, the funds to attend it, hope,  house plants, music, a car that runs, food to eat, clean water to drink, teeth, opportunities, laughter, thrift stores, sunshine and cloudy days, books, the ability to learn, ants, pumpkin pie, and so much more!

These are just a few things that I jotted down. What are you thankful for? Please share!

October 27, 2011

Everlasting Love

There's a pile of laundry sitting on my bed, a stack of homework at my side, and an apartment begging to be cleaned as I type this. But that's all okay, that can wait. There have been so many words tangled up inside of my head that somehow, someway, need to be spilled out. A list of posts that need to be typed up have been shoved aside for this...

God loves me.

Some days, the certainty of this feels like the kiss of sunshine on my face, a tune in my head, and that calm assurance that Someone cares for me more than imaginable. Or like this cloudy morning, as I piece together little snacks to gift to those I live with, there is a sweet happiness that just seeps out. Both tears and a smile threaten to break loose at any given moment.  

Isn't God's love amazing? Even when I royally mess up, when I find myself flat on my face time and again, He reaches down with compassion and by the hand, lifts this terrified child up to place me back on my feet. "Now, My beloved daughter, follow Me. I gave everything for you because I love you." It is because of that love of His that I can surrender to the promise and pleading of, "Trust Me."

Just as a little kid pieces together some fine craft of glue, construction paper, and crayon creations, and has great affection for the "masterpiece", so I can imagine on a far greater scale, my LORD, as He wove together every fiber and thread of my being. No doubt, He smiles down at His creation as He whispers the first words an ear within the womb might hear, "I love you, a cherished one already!"

The love of God sustains, it provides, it brushes us off when we've stumbled, it forgives, holds nothing against us, it protects, comforts, heals, and gives a song to sing along our uncertain way. This insane love keeps back what we aren't to know while directing us still. It answers prayer, gives us more grace, and while the entire world turns black and quakes, this love places us in the never-moving hands of a Saviour Who has promised to be a "refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble!"

I cannot explain or describe it, there are no other words than "Amazing love, how can it be?"
Isn't it sweet? Isn't He good?

October 13, 2011


"Don't find fault with the man that limps or stumbles 'long life's road.
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears or struggled 'neath his load.
There may be rocks within his shoes, hidden out of view.
And the burden he bears placed on your back...
Might cause you to stumble too."

- Author Unknown

October 7, 2011


At this current moment, my feet are propped up on a big rock next to a pleasant little fire that is cackling away. The only sound I hear is the distant hum of the highway muffled by the sound of crickets. Glancing up from my seat, the brightest moon I've ever seen is gleaming down at me through the dusky fall leaves. And tonight...I'm thankful. A bit melancholy and thoughtful too, but still, thankful.

Sometimes I breeze through life with days that jumble together like a puzzle that's been dumped from its box. None of the pieces really appear to fit and I just push on through the assignments that are due, the trivial issues my position here at the school presents, and the business. All the while those quiet wishes and hopes I have are bunkered down until those couple of moments when I whisper them to my Saviour before falling asleep each night. Only, those few painfully honest prayers before bed are left behind as soon as the sun rises each morning and the cycle begins again.

But tonight, I'm sitting here in the quiet of this absolutely gorgeous night and I mull through all those thoughts that I have no time for during most days. It's nice sometimes, to just calm down and have a heart-to-heart with the Lord and realize that all along He has just been waiting for me to share it with Him. He sits here beside me and comforts, "Oh, child, have I not promised, come unto Me, and I will give you rest?" So, I gather all the emotions, questions, misunderstanding, and more, and hand them over to His capable hands. It's these kind of moments I sit back and realize, "Hey...I'm alright." Not because of me, I only tend to muddle things up all the more, but because of a God who does all things well.

The realization of these thoughts and promises brings sweet hymns and verses to mind and I smile as they are hummed here in the darkness. I like these quiet times with Him, they ease all of the anxiousness for whatever it is I'm waiting for and leave a contentment only He can bring.

Nights like these whisper with the calm assurance of the promise that God is so good. And that makes nights like these precious.

September 29, 2011


Sometimes, I tend to float through life without taking much stock in what a tremendous blessing and resource the Lord has given to me. So for today, it is needed to take a little time and a little space here to just say thank you to some of the insanely special friends I've been given. Please do not be upset if you are a friend of mine and aren't mentioned here. God has put so many wonderful people in my life, I simply couldn't list them all here! These are, however, a few that have been on my heart recently and are some of the nearest and dearest!
Esther: You are my heart, my sister, my always and forever best. It's crazy to think so much time has passed since we've been in close proximity but somehow it doesn't matter how far apart we are, we still know each other like the back of our own hands. After all, you know me better than I know myself most days. There are hardly any memories I have of growing up that don't have you in them and I look back at our times as some of the most precious things I've ever had. I do so love you and look forward to seeing you super soon!

Serah Leigh: There isn't a day that goes by that I don't giggle over something we've done, something you've said, or get a reminder that I miss you fiercely. You are my smile, my joy, and you are forever that little voice of blatant honesty that always brings me back to reality. I'm so glad we ended up being at school for a semester together, I feel like I know you so much better after having shared that experience and those memories only make me love and miss you more. I don't think I've ever told you how much I really miss you being here with me. Keeping smiling like only you can. I love you, Portie, and can't wait until we can just laugh together again in person.

Crazy-Ann: Sometimes it still baffles me how wonderfully good God was to put a kindred spirit such as yourself in my life. It doesn't seem so long ago that we were at school together and even now I smile thinking of the times we shared. How precious it is to have a friend to just pour out my heart to and know that you understand and will always bring the solution and the glory back to our Saviour. I am so so thankful for your presence, wisdom, and comfort when I came down to visit your Honduras. You mean so much to me, Ann, and I have no doubt that no matter how much time or contact passes between our visits and chats, that we will always remain kindred friends.

Emilee Jayde: There is no one in the world quite like you and it's so sweet to have you as my friend. I think of you so often and I am so proud of you for standing up for what you know to be right and for following through with everything the Lord has given you to do. You have a such a tender heart for the Lord that is mingled with the resilience to stick to it and I so admire that in you! Sometimes I even hear that accent of yours when I think of you and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. I only wish we could spend more time together but maybe someday soon! Love you, Emmy!

Sarah H:
You are such an example to me and I'm so thankful for our friendship! Not to mention almost every day I miss you being here in Ohio with me. Sometimes I want to just open my closet and find you rummaging through for a new outfit. It's so amazing to see you just take off right where God has placed you and I can only pray for the same good attitude and consistency that you exemplify! You never fail to pour out your heart, resources, and talents into anything the Lord gives you and I know He is honored through you in so so many ways. Thanks for being for there me this summer, you've helped me more than you can ever know.

Katelyn, Bruce, and Russell: Don't any of you get a big-head because you're on here! There are few in this world who can sit for hours debating and arguing about anything and everything and yet still be such jolly good friends like we are...and like we do. I truly am so grateful that the three of you are with me at school right now and that we've pulled together. Thank you for your accountability, the discussions we so frequently have and enjoy, and for simply loving God and desperately wanting to serve Him like you do. Despite popular belief, you guys are great. Let's do Starbucks sometime again soon.

To all my other friends and followers, thank you too! So often you are in my thoughts and in my prayers.

And you know what? God simply gave me the best friends a girl could ever ask for!

September 23, 2011


The realization has come that I am quite ridiculous. So often I find myself acting like an impatient child saying, "God, are we there yet?" Along with so many other Christians, I am always wanting to know the immediate next step and every five steps to follow in search of this elusive mystery we call the will of God.

As I sat there fumbling through my plans for life with the Bible in one hand, a Spurgeon book in the other, and a mind full of impatient questionings, it hit me that I'm wasting away this portion of what God has for my life right now. Why do I fret about what I do not know? Why do I worry over a future that my Lord has in His wisdom hidden just beyond sight?

Speaking of sight, the passage of Scripture that surfaced all of the evidence of my patience, or lack thereof, deals with the beloved apostle Paul. On his way to Damascus, Christ called him out and changed his life forever. Paul was commanded, "Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." How silly it would have been if Paul had said, "Okay, God...but could you just maybe give me a hint of what I'm supposed to do after that?" Paul's instruction was to go into the city and there wait for further instruction. He wasn't told how long he would have to wait or what general "field" he was being called into. To add to the matter, Paul's eyesight was stricken from him but we find no evidence of arguments or pleadings for understanding. Instead, we discover that Paul went ahead to the city and was "three days without sight" when God gave him his next step.

What am I trying to say? Basically, God does the same thing in every believer's life. For myself, being here at college is my time to "go into the city" and wait on the Lord. What is so wrong with just letting God be God and trust that He will reveal what He wills in His timing? Why must we always strive to have all the answers and plans when in all reality, we are His, so the when and where and how is all His business anyway.

So it has become my prayer that while I'm waiting, to soak up everything this section of my life has to offer. May I stop wishing away this precious last year here and focus on what the Saviour has to teach me in this stage of uncertainty and wishy-washy dreams and desires. Like David, I ask of God, "Teach me to do Thy will; for Thou art my God: Thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness."

September 17, 2011


There is just something about fall that makes all things reminiscent. I both love and hate the memories the cooler days conjure up. Sometimes I wish I could organize those memories into tidy little packages and store them up for when I want to revisit them, or for when I’m ready to face them. Autumn always makes me feel so wishful, perhaps even more so this year.

College life has returned full-swing and with all it's normal frustrations, things to learn, and experiences. I've been struggling for the past few weeks to summon up something to share here for I truly loathe to write about just every day happenings. The day-in and day-out comings and goings of my life sometimes feel so insignificant and there seems no sense in sharing such boring things. I came to the realization that despite my apathy towards the "normal", God cares about those "small" or "insignificant" things more than we can ever realize.

Those whispered words of thanks to the Heavenly Father, the songs that we hum while carrying out our tasks, the thoughts we think towards those who surround us...all of those matter greatly to Him! I do so adore the passage: "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."

If my God cares about the insignificant little birds, how much more does He think on the quiet meditations of His childrens' hearts? With that in mind, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."

August 29, 2011

Wonderful Words

"Remember the Word unto Thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for Thy Word hath quickened me." - Ps.119:49,50

May I like David continuously cling to the Word as my source of hope, comfort, and rejuvenation! Sometimes during the course of the day, as things begin to pile up and threaten to overwhelm, the urge to hide out and smuggle my Bible and a notebook away into some corner consistently eats away at me. It is something unexplainable, it is a sort of craving that I hope never to lose again. Rather than surround with other advices, may I always retreat to the silken pages of the Scriptures and soak in those God-breathed Words. Often it is necessary to be “quickened” or made alive again, like the recharging of a battery, by truths my Lord has treasured up for me.

The goal is to leave the worries and frustrations of the day and their chaotic mess at the door of the closet of prayer. The pouring out of an overwhelmed heart and in turn, the refilling of it with the Words of an ever-compassionate Savior, neatly ties those troubles I left behind into a tidy bundle. The stresses of before become wrapped together with the certainty of "He giveth more grace" and tied off with the promise of "But God is faithful" so that I may be able to bear their load through Him.

Isn't that just the sweetest thing to think on? If we place our burden within His omnipotence, if we allow the concerns of this world to become dim in the light of His Word, we can repeat as the prophet Jeremiah, “Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name!”


August 15, 2011

On My Side

"If it has not been the LORD who was on our side..."

Where would I be without an ever-faithful God? Every inch of the life I've always known, so filled with His goodness, His protection, comfort, and guidance, would be very, very different. At times, the thought of how completely and totally undeserving I am is overwhelming. After recently returning from a trip to Honduras and seeing the hardship, heart-ache, and joy in their lives, I am completely humbled. The blessings of God are so prevalent in my life and yet I turn my sights inward and focus on what I do not possess or who I want to be. Selfishness is the only word to describe it.

Without the Lord, I would be nothing! My cry would be as Israel's, "The waters overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul!" Desolation would be my habitation. My home would be nestled in the pits of sorrow, despair, and wickedness. So oblivious I am to this at times! So easy it is to forget how far the Lord has brought me and how much further He alone is capable of taking me. To think what if He did not love me as He does, if He did not take my hand to prevent a stumble or stand in between me and the enemy?

Yet, God, who in the provision of His love, calls out, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee...For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil." Even before the foundations of the world God was piecing together the threads of my life, my plan, my ability to serve Him. His purpose and His goal is never to see us in a dark place. Every thought the Saviour has towards me is there to give an "expected end." In response to such overwhelming grace and love, I can only give back a heart that is willing to let Him have His way. He is on my side, so I will not fear!

God is so faithful to continuously remind, "Beth, remember that My way is perfect. Just be willing and I will show you the path of life and the fulness of joy!" 

May I again fall on knees scuffed from my own feeble attempts and consistently cry out to Him with a "Teach me to do Thy will! For Thou art my God: Thy spirit is good! Bring my soul out of trouble...for I am Thy servant." - Psalm 143


July 20, 2011


Strength, how I long for it! Not physical strength necessarily as I'm quite content being my girly, generally incapable self. But strength of heart, strength of Spirit, strength where it haunts every moment of weakness and every fear that brings tears to my eyes. I lie awake at night crying out for the strength to heal the pain, to calm my worries, and to appease my doubt. It was in one of these moments that the realization came to me. Strength with any lasting substance cannot come from me, but must come from Him. Of course, I've heard this in Sunday School and have read it in the Word but it never really sunk in, this fact that deep within me there truly is no strength of my own. There is no well in my heart from which I can draw healing that I have digged myself. Rather, every drop of strength must come from the One who is waiting and willing to give it as soon as I let go of the tattered shreds that I have sown together with pride and the facade of solidity.

And then, that sweet voice whispers, "My child, remember? My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. If you were not so weak, you would never know how strong I alone can make you."

Is it not in the most painfully silent moment that we can so clearly hear that still small voice? When we cannot find it within us to lift up our head, our God promises, "I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee!" The prayer of my heart has changed from "help me do this" to "Lord, be my very strength. Let no one see Beth in what I'm doing but truly let me shine with nothing but YOU." Since it cannot be my own strength that carries me through, my own strength can receive none of the glory.

Here's the nitty-gritty
. Okay, so all pretty words and end results aside, my real conversation with God left me feeling like Moses, always retorting back with an excuse and God, ever gentle to me, responding with a strong but sweet answer as clear as glass. This genuine conversation I cannot forget, I write it out only to remind myself and to encourage you all.

It was me saying, "God, do you even hear me? Can you see how difficult all this is for me?"
"The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, His ears are open unto their cry."

"God, it wasn't supposed be this way, I loved him and he disappointed me."
"I have loved thee with an everlasting love, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."
"How can I go down there when I am still hurting?"

 "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart." 
"But God, I can't do this, I really don't think I can." 
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 
"But, Lord, it's going to be so very hard."
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"

And so after being gently scolded and once again put back into my place behind the shadow of His promises, the verse that my Lord gave to me when everything first fell apart held the promise for me that I will carry there in my heart. I pray it resounds clearly in everything I do, every word I speak, and every tear I'm certain to shed.
♥ Beth


July 11, 2011


What is courage? Often when I hear the word my mind pictures a battle-bruised soldier charging off across enemy lines, bullets soaring around him, a flag in hand, and determination in his eyes. But this isn't my kind of courage. This isn't the sort of courage God has called me to have. I have come to realize that my overly-cautious, ever-questioning personality and my tendency to always leave myself some form of escape route really is nothing but down-right fear. Often, that fear hinders my service for the King, especially because it is known that "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." In light of recent circumstances, courage has been something my heart has been crying out to God for. In doing so, God has shown me that courage isn't necessarily some form of unabashed bravery but what it really is is an active sort of trust.

The nation of Israel in Numbers 14 begins to cry out to Moses and they express a desire to go back to Egypt. Egypt of all places! Why? Because they were afraid, they were lacking in courage. Sure, God had promised them wonderful things but they allowed what they could see now to affect their faith. The future was intimidating and hard. Everything inside wanted to go back to the ways things were because things had been comfortable that way for so long. This hasn't changed so much today. The future that is looming before me, before all of us, is unknown and what can be seen is confusing and well...scary. Yet, this story is a stark reminder that God knew what He was doing for Israel and He knows what He is doing for me too.

Judah demonstrated the sort of courage I long to have in II Chronicles 20. Surrounded by enemies and with no hope in sight, the nation turned to God with a faith that said,  "O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee." And you know what? God delivered them! This courage says, "I'm afraid, I'm scared, and I don't understand, but GOD is in control and I will carry on with what He has called me to do because my Lord is bigger than my fear."

So as the pathway God is leading me down grows shadowed and fear begins to creep in and threatens to strangle my faith, may my eyes always be turned upward towards a Heavenly Father who knows what lies beyond the darkness. May my feet always press on through the fog and never falter in thought of going back. I pray my steps, and yours, will always be light in knowing that the God who carries us through these confusing times is the same God who will lead into "a land which floweth with milk and honey."


"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." - Deuteronomy 31:6

July 8, 2011

Dear Friend

As I sat there, trying desperately to console a friend who's even fresher heart-break reflected my own freshly broken heart, I found myself with little to say that could redeem the male race. Initially, my anger was toward any and all things male and spouted off the old female adages laced with bitterness, such as: "Who needs them." and "All guys are jerks." Better yet, I was about to warn her not to put her heart on the line so easily, to protect herself against a next time. But my words soured and I knew that such a thing simply was not possible. As women, we were created by God to be emotional creatures. Our make-up (the inside kind) makes it nigh impossible to separate those emotions from our decision-making, our hopes, and our dreams. As a dear friend reminded me, that's what makes true, Godly, femininity so very beautiful!

What are we to do then? Float through life hoping to stumble across another floater who might not hurt us? Certainly not. People disappoint, that's something unavoidable. But if God is our focus and we are whole-heartedly seeking to serve Him above even our emotions, hopes, and dreams, He will work everything out just how it is supposed to be, guiding our steps and gently leading us down the pathways of His will. Now, there may be a "valley of the shadow of death" along the way, but the beauty of the 23rd Psalm is that, along the way, there are also places beside the still waters.

So sweet friend, don't fret. Through my own recent experience God has shown me so very many things. This isn't a "to-do" list for getting over a relationship or for taping together shattered hearts, but rather, some promises that God has given to bring comfort to me during this time, and hopefully to you as well.

1. We aren't promised tomorrow, but God knows what is in the "tomorrows" we do have.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."  ♥  Isaiah 55:8

2. If we truly, truly give our heart-break to Him, He WILL heal it. It doesn't make it easier, it doesn't make it all okay or right. But God will make all things beautiful in His time and tears that still trust Him become something precious in His sight.

 "He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can    find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end." ♥  Ecc. 3:1

3. Remember, it doesn't really matter what "status" we are, where we are in life, or who we are at all. All that matters is that we are HIS. Beyond that, everything else will fall into place.

" Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine." ♥ Isaiah 43:1

4. Be honest with others and with yourself.  This is a hard one, but the fact is with situations like these can either be filled with lies, false expectations, and disappointments that drag on, or with the painful truth that enables moving on.

"But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." ♥ James 3:14,16

5. Rely on friends who will encourage you in the LORD and not fuel emotional fires. That's to say, seek counsel and comfort from those who want you to receive those things from God as well, who will point you to Him, the "God of all comfort."

"There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."

Oh, there is so much more I could write, but for now, know that I do understand what you're going through and the desire of my heart is that God will bring you the peace He has brought me. I don't understand why, I don't understand what happened, or why God allows these things to break us down. I do know, however, that my God is bigger than the circumstances we find ourselves in and that our lack of understanding is our opportunity to rely on a God that changes not.

♥ Beth

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
" - Psalm 55:22