Help Give Clean Water in Uganda

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As many of you know I am co-leading another trip back to Uganda in July to hand auger clean water wells! We will be partnering with Mission4Water once again; this year our goal is lofty and exciting!

Please consider supporting us financially.. but not until you read more about what we are doing and why!

Below are lots of questions and thoughts that I have been getting as I share about going to Uganda this summer… There’s a good chance some of your thoughts or questions are answered here too!

Why water?

I mean… I like water don’t you?

Who doesn’t like cooking with water?

Is there anything quiet as refreshing as a cold drink of water on the hottest of days or after a hard workout at the gym?

But really, if you have known me for a few years, you will remember that I donated a birthday to charity:water to help them drill a clean water well!

I take water for granted. So do you.

Trust me on this; we take water for granted every single day (even in Flint!).

So, ok, fine… Water. But why Uganda?

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It started with a breaking heart, and then finding an amazing organization with Mission4Water.

But, that doesn’t really answer the question does it?.. Why have *I * chosen water and Uganda? That’s a really long story that written words won’t do appropriate justice to, so, let’s FaceTime, Skype or get dinner to talk about this, cause that would be more fun!

The short answer is that God broke my heart for what break’s His in Africa in 2008, and in 2016 I had the opportunity to do something that makes a physical difference in the lives of hundreds of people in Uganda. Why would I turn that down?

Don’t people need help here?

Yes, they do.

There’s no way around the fact that people need help everywhere.

My choice to go and support an organization that is giving clean water to those in need in Uganda is not at odds with the ways and needs locally and nationally that I care about or support.

The most common question I get challenged with is, “Why are you going since people need help here too?” – Let me assure you, people needing help here is not an appropriate excuse for me not to go; instead it is a reason for everyone to do his or her part… If I feel called to go, and you feel a burden for here, then get up, step into the work of relieving the burdens and needs here while I do the same for the things I am burdened for.

However, some people are called to go (anywhere), others are called to stay, while still others are called to support financially.

Paul went. Timothy went. Jesus went (along with so many others)…. Jesus also told us to go too (locally, nationally, and internationally). Ergo, we should go.

We are supposed to go… If God has not called you to go anywhere, then He has likely burdened you for the people or causes here that you should get involved with, OR He equipped you with the ability to give so that someone else is able to go.

Throughout Paul’s letters he consistently references how one church was funding him so that he could go to another church and not burden them. As a body and community of people, together we can actually change the world, clean water in Uganda is just one of many ways that I am doing my part.

Please, won’t you join me? Please consider supporting my team of 15 people changing the lives of over 1,000 people in just two short weeks of work in July!

What is the money ask and why?

Our crazy huge goals is to raise the money for 5 clean water wells!

In order for us to reach our goal of digging three clean water wells, and leaving money for two additional wells (so their work can continue after we leave), we need to raise just over $72,000.

We are well on our way with 22% raised already by the end of February! (Thank you to everyone who has donated so far! *dance party*)

How does the cost breakdown?

It will cost us $4000 to build each clean water well.

Each well serves an average of 350 Ugandans.

~ $12 gives 1 Ugandan clean water for the rest of their life.

~ $24 gives 2 clean water to two…

~ $36 of course then gives THREE people clean water!

~ Meaning that if you donate $48 you have changed the life forever of 4 Ugandan’s!

 

Donate here!

All donations are tax-deductible.

So, here are a few facts:

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  • It costs $12 to provide a lifetime supply of clean water to one person in Uganda
  • On average, Ugandans walk 6 kilometers a day for dirty water
  • Typically, it’s women and girls who are responsible for the gathering of water
  • Current water sources often cause serious illnesses
  • Lack of clean water means a large percentage of young girls are not able to attend school for a large variety of reasons.
  • Water born illnesses impact the family groups in dozens of way, causing financial hardships

On this mission to Uganda in July of 2017: 

Our plan is to dig three clean water wells simultaneously. Each of our three teams will be composed of five US team members, and two Ugandan drillers.

Our team will dig 3 wells, meaning during our time there, we will supply water to more than 1,000 Ugandans.

At the completion of our two weeks, it is our incredibly lofty goal to also provide monies for two additional wells.

That means you would partner with our team as we strive to provide clean, safe water to more than seventeen hundred Ugandans in 2017 alone! – Which brings the three-year total to over 5,000 people having access to clean water!

This mission is being funded by those of us participating in the trip, through donations and fund-raisers.

You don’t have the money?

That’s ok! While we have financial needs, that is far from the only support we need in our journey!

Follow along with our story via our blog and my personal social media.

Pray for us!

  • We need prayer for health: physical, emotional, spiritual.
  • We need prayers for safety, no illnesses and no injuries.
  • We also desire prayers for the right hearts, humility in our approach to learning, and for connections to be made.
  • We need prayers to hit water THREE times!
  • And, of course we need prayers for God to meet us anew in Uganda, to hit a soul reset, and for each of us to learn what it is that God wants to teach us while on mission.

What if this isn’t your thing?

If clean water is not anything you care about, that’s ok!…

My challenge to you is to find what is the thing you care about deeply, and work towards that passion! Choose something that matters in the biggest scope of eternity; then invest your time and money there!

Thank you!

Thank you in advance for partnering with the 15 of us as we take on this adventure!

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Be on the lookout for the sign up for our 3rd Annual Race for H2Ope 6k Run/Walk coming May 6th!

Be sure to follow along in our adventures and share our stories!

#ugandaexcited #onmissioneveryday #threeforthethird

Yes, It Is Normal…

I want to be known for my blending of Grace and Truth exactly perfectly…

Unfortunately, I tend towards Truth naturally and really have to work on being better at HOW I say things.

And, in the spirit of honesty, one of my biggest struggles is learning how to blend Grace into my words to mitigate my natural leaning towards Truth in a way that reflects the Holy Spirit and Jesus well.

You see, I believe that one of the biggest tricks the devil uses against us is making us to feel like we are isolated. I think often many do not share openly their lives in a way that could be helpful to someone else because it is personal, private, and feels intimate… But, if we are alone, and if that thing we are struggling through is believed to be abnormal, if we are the only one, then clearly we are weak or there is something wrong with us…

I regularly find myself in conversations with people that allows for me to share my own story, struggles, and in a completely honest light offer them authentic encouragement because, after all, we are now in this struggle together.

Over the last few months, I have been given this amazing opportunity to share about my ministry/job with other churches around the country. Some of them were referred to me, others found my name and title (First Impressions Director) on our website, and others I am not entirely sure how they found me. But, I have gotten to talk to them, encourage their ministries, hearts, and share whatever information I could about how and what I do… As well as simply connect over our common bond of “overwhelmed but passionate” for our ministries.

One of the biggest things I have come to realize, regardless of the ministry, church size and even occupation, it needs to be said frequently: 

What you are feeling, that’s normal. 

It doesn’t really matter what you’re feeling:
Overwhelmed,
Annoyed,
Blessed,
Content,
Frustrated,
Excited,
Like you’re drowning,
Struggling,
Overjoyed,
Dry inside,
Agitated,
Numb, etc…
AALLL of the feelings are normal, they are being experienced by someone else also in your same place trying to keep that same pace.

I have been asked SO many times, “How do you manage it all?”

And, my very real and honest answer:

Sometimes I handle it well, flawlessly, and feel energized!…

Aaand then other times, I find myself binge watching Netflix with a glass of wine and snacks, locked away in my room with my puppy for six hours. – Totally healthy coping mechanism 🙄

Sometimes my daily Jesus time is SO GOOD! Then all of a sudden I look up and it’s been TWO WEEKS and I’m not entirely sure where my Bible is even located.

Sometimes my journal and prayers are overflowing, and other times I just sit and stare blankly.

Sometimes I wake up looking forward to my day, having slept well and stoked about what I have planned. Other times I hit snooze until I’m late for work (sorry boss!) and have to bolt out the door without brushing my teeth (I promise I make up the work time)!

Sometimes I go to the gym and eat so well totally dominating the meal prepping for the week. Other times I can’t even remember the last time I ate something other than fast food.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the love and joy for my job and life. Other times I am just overwhelmed with a heavy and discouraged heart.

Life is hard. 

Following Jesus is hard. 

Life and following Jesus are all real things, real struggles, authentic joys and sorrows, love and hate, anger and repentance. These are normal life things that so many try to hide or pretend are not a normal part of their lives. Why are we not highlighting the good, bad, beautiful and ugly as ENTIRELY normal?!

Some days we will feel ready to go and like we can conquer the world. Other days we will do all we can to merely survive the day. 

So, Yes, it (whatever “it” is) is normal. 

Don’t let the smiles, adventures, Instagrams, Facebook posts, snapchats or 30 second conversations of and with others fool you… We are all swinging back and forth on this pendulum of so good, and really just trying to survive the suck.

 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.”– 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Trust me, those feelings are normal, and experienced by others! Share your feelings with others, be honest, choose to help someone else see their feelings are normal and accepted too.

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Generosity is the Key…

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I have always sorta known that being generous was important. Without realizing it, I saw it growing up in my parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents etc.. I understood that they were kind and loving, but I do not think I interpreted their actions as generous at the time because it was just sorta how they were.

Grandparents on both sides of my family were generous with food… Literally feeding everyone who came and went from their house. People in my family seem to be known for taking people in to live with them… and feeding them. They always had things to give them, and lived a life that repeatedly said “people are more important than things” – Sometimes actually repeating this mantra.

Now that I am grown, and trying my best at this adulting thing, I have realized so many of the ways that my parents were generous. My parents never ran out of time for you. Hours upon hours have been spent talking and spending time with people in my house growing up. Sometimes it was me and my siblings that needed the time, other instances it was cousins or other family members, students, co-workers, friends; regardless, my parents have always been generous with their time.

Growing up it would drive me bonkers because we were endlessly late places. – Why? Why could my dad not stop talking and get in the car so we could go?!… Looking back, so many hours were spent in parking lots and at restaurants giving people what only my dad could give, and what people needed most: his time. People are drawn to my parents, to their kindness, to their wisdom, to their knowledge, to their genuine authenticity, and to the joy and love that they spill out to everyone. Whether people realized it or not, they have always been drawn to the way that Jesus exudes from my parents.

Thankfully, I feel like these traits of my parents has been passed on to me and all of my siblings.

I never totally understood growing up what was happening because generosity was just a part of our family… But, because we did not have money, I had separated in my mind that generosity was supposed to mean with your money, everything else was sorta just how my family was.

As an adult, I realize how flawed and totally wrong that perspective was. So totally wrong.

Being generous certainly can include money.. which is why I think tithing and gifting is so important. It helps you separate yourself from the control that money can have on you. But, in reality, generosity is so much more pervasive and multi-dimensional that just currency.

Generosity of any kind changes people’s lives.

Generosity has a rippling effect that impacts people we will never meet face to face.

I find that as I get older, I take note of the generous people in my lives and are drawn to them, respect them, and desire to surround myself with them at an ever-increasing level.

Two of the most generous people I have ever met are my lead pastor Mark Batterson and his wife Lora. I do not really understand how they always find the time, money, and attitudes of generosity, but they do, endlessly. Pastor Mark says all the time that he wants those who know him best to respect him the most; and it is true. The more you get to know him, the more you respect him; I am fascinated by how true this fact plays out, even working at the church that he has been pastoring for 20 years! He and his wife’s giving spirits are so built into their lives that I do not even think they realize some of the ways they are generous. Interactions with them are teeming with graciousness, kindness, and generosity… So much so that it is tangible!

Sometimes, I think my friends get tired of how much I love and respect this next person (who I have only met once); but Josh Garrels is another person whose generosity has made a huge difference in my life. I shared once a while ago about how much his generosity weathered me through a horrible season because he put his albums up on Noisetrade for free. This week I was once again reminded of his double blessing generosity; he put out on Noisetrade an anniversary album that included bonus tracks, and instrumental tracks from his album Home. While the album is free until April 28th, he also included a note that any tips you leave him on Noisetrade will be donated to World Relief and One Million Thumbprints (Check them out, it’s pretty amazing).  – All I could think is of the abundant generosity that exhibits of him and his wife!

Here I am as an adult, finding that the most generous thing I have to offer is my time, my joy, my kindness… and a little food certainly doesn’t hurt. People are more important than things, and letting people become more of “my people” and join my community is one of the most generous things I can do. And, oh how I love it.

I cannot always give money, but I can always give time. – Especially as I become more diligent with my time management.

I think the world can absolutely become a better place with more kindness, more generosity, and more stepping into community that is hard to love people well.

Generosity is the key to changing the world one impactful moment at a time.

Regrowth…

Goodness has it been a few weeks! I feel like I have been in warp speed mode for weeks now, I basically collapse into bed every night and wake up begrudgingly too soon.

I have been actively pushing myself to step out of and let go of the second nature of survival mode I have felt for so long. I have been asking God for a lot of things, but mostly right now I have just been working to sit in His presence again and find peace and comfort.

Reconnecting and finding my peace and faith built up and restored has sorta become my focus… Usually while I’m walking the millions of miles I have been walking due to getting my car fixed (for the last 2+ weeks).

I desire a deeper richer relationship, but I have also found that I have a pretty strong reservation for indulging and allowing myself to feel strongly. Survival mode strikes again.

Last weekend I helped put on a conference for 500+ people, and it was awesome. Such a great time.. exhausting, but so great. I got to connect and meet so many people, listen to amazing sermons, and worship. It was fantastic.

However, the most profound part had little to do with any of the actual program, aside from the space we created for people to do business with God. At the end, we had a wonderful commissioning sermon, and then we worshiped, and offered communion to those wanting to take and remember, and then we had people lining the room to pray over anyone wanting prayer.

For more than an hour people worshiped, took communion, and let go of burdens, received confirmations, wept, and were encouraged.

What a sight to watch hundreds of people at the same time and place connecting with God; that more than anything else moved my heart in a very real way… What a lovely sight and feeling. For the first time in a long time I felt the shift in understanding God’s love and tenderness.

Tomorrow I turn 30, and I am excited. I am looking forward to starting a new decade, to hitting the refresh button and allowing myself to settle into the stride that is my life and my journey thus far. I am looking forward to this year, 2015 is the year of regrowth for me.

Below are the pictures I doodled while listening to the various people’s sermons last weekend… They are not necessarily connected to what was being spoken about.

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His Beloved…

“How are you?”

That has been the most difficult question to answer as of late. I am good because I can look around and see the great things, people, situations, etc.. that leave my heart to fill with hope. And yet, I am not so good at the same time. I find that my heart is really not ok at my core, but not because of any one thing in particular.

The best way I can describe how I feel is, it seems like God and I are working on and through things that are leaving my heart in a difficult and vulnerable place in order to truly heal and move forward from here.

I am not the biggest fan of feeling vulnerable in general, but this time I also am allowing myself to sit in the emotions that God is bringing up instead of just pushing them aside.

After a few conversations with my bff about how I am doing, she recommended that we should read Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning together. At just a few chapters in, Abba’s Child has been distinctly different from most books I have read (especially recently) in terms of the impact it is having on my heart. As I read, I feel my heart stirring, and at times, I find myself so overwhelmed with emotions that, I have to actually put the book (or computer since I’m reading it on my Kindle app) down and walk away to take a breather.

I am quickly accumulating a ridiculously large file of typed notes, and highlighting the book like crazy.

You see, most days, I feel confident, secure in who I am, whose I am, and I tend to be fully aware of my strengths, weaknesses, gifts, and flaws. Then there are other times where I just feel entirely insecure, inadequate, like I will never be enough, like I am or need too much, and as though I am pulled apart at the seams on the inside.

Lately, I have felt mostly the latter sense of self.

I believe there are a few key things playing into the state of my heart right now…
1. Satan loves to whisper into insecurities, and unfortunately, I think I have been giving him too much room to play.
B. Sometimes, timing for things can be awesome… Other times, it can be the absolute worst timing to have to deal with things and it just adds to the weight.
iii. God knows it is time to burn away the chaff and scars in order to heal and move forward more solidly in His grasp… But, that requires allowing my heart to be molded anew, and that is just not an easy place to be.

I am a little scared to say, that despite the state of my heart, I am actually looking forward to this growth process.. It will likely be fairly painful, but hopefully in the good sense of pain.

I am looking forward to finally having the refreshing feeling of being closer to my sweet savior once again. From the very center of my being, I desire to rediscover my identity in Christ. I hope that in this process I can re-find myself, my strengths, weaknesses, identity, and that both my hope and faith will come out on the other side remade.

Because maybe the best way to communicate the rest of what my heart is working through is to share some (only a select few) of the quotes I have kept.
I am only a few chapters in, but these quotes are a great reflection of my thoughts and feelings from Abba’s Child (not necessarily in order of placement in the book):

“It takes a profound conversion to accept that God is relentlessly tender and compassionate toward us just as we are— not in spite of our sins and faults (that would not be total acceptance), but with them… He anguishes over our self-absorption and self-sufficiency.”

“God loves who we really are— whether we like it or not.”

“We learn to be gentle with ourselves by experiencing the intimate, heartfelt compassion of Jesus.”

“‘Quit keeping score altogether and surrender yourself with all your sinfulness to God who sees neither the score nor the scorekeeper but only his child redeemed by Christ.’”

“We are made for God, and nothing less will really satisfy us.”

“As we come to grips with our own selfishness and stupidity, we make friends with the impostor and accept that we are impoverished and broken and realize that, if we were not, we would be God. The art of gentleness toward ourselves leads to being gentle with others— and is a natural prerequisite for our presence to God in prayer.”

“When we accept the truth of what we really are and surrender it to Jesus Christ, we are enveloped in peace, whether or not we feel ourselves to be at peace. By that I mean the peace that passes understanding is not a subjective sensation of peace; if we are in Christ, we are in peace even when we feel no peace.”

“I continually felt the need to apologize, to run from my weaknesses, to deny who I was and concentrate on what I should be. I was broken, yes, but I was continually trying never to be broken again— or at least to get to the place where I was very seldom broken….”

“He is the Savior who saves us from ourselves.”

“‘…to make the Lord and his immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.'”

“We give glory to God simply by being ourselves…. Living in awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence.”

“All I want to say to you is, ‘You are the Beloved,’ and
all I hope is that you can hear these words as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that love can hold.
My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being—
‘ You are the Beloved.
’”

Growing and Grooming

I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying recently about a slew of things and I think I am finally to the point of having it clear enough in my head to share.

Lately I have dealt with a lot of confusion, frustration and anger and struggles to wade through the last two years. There have definitely been days where I felt guilt for my anger, but other days it has seemed as though it was the sole emotion pushing me to continue to pray so I grasped onto it as hard as I could. I have been really actively trying to process through what it looks like to follow what I believe God lead me to, and then what to do with it when it went so terrible wrong… as in the entirely opposite direction.

What do I do with the fact that I felt God had pushed me towards a specific place and job, and that it was finally my calling made exactly perfectly for me; only for it to fall apart within a year?.. And then, why would he prevent me from getting another job and placing me in a situation of losing most everything for another year (maybe more at this rate)?

Let me pause for a second and say, if you know someone going through an intensely painful period of life, there is very little that can be said to encourage someone throughout a season such as this. In the last two years, the most encouraging thing came from the people who did not offer cute or well-meaning sayings, but instead chose to acknowledge how difficult and frustrating life can be, and then just offered love and support. The people who could quote well placed in context scripture to offer encouragement were like sunshine in the depths of night.

However, above anything else, it has been the people who have just been there. The people who listened, prayed, cried, laughed, and sat in silence with me as I just struggled and continue to work through the emotions every day while not understanding the purpose or goal.

I do not have an aha answer yet as to the reason behind why things have turned out the way they have.. nor why things continue to be difficult. However, I do have a list of things I have learned that have ruminated in my head long enough to share now (or again)…

  • I am learning and having compassion literally grown in me. – I am not a naturally compassionate person, every ounce of it has been cultivated over time within my heart.
  • I have spent my whole life viewing my value as coming from the fact that I am capable. – While I still struggle with this idea daily, I now recognize that my value is intrinsic, not because I am capable of handling my problems AND yours. Every day I struggle with working to view myself as valuable outside of my ability to handle anything thrown at me.
  • I think the most overwhelming thing that I have realized throughout everything is that, every single day (no exaggeration), I have gotten an e-mail, phone call, FaceTimed, text, FB message, hug, coffee, snail mail card etc.. from friends and family checking in to say they love me, are praying for me, thinking of me and wanting to know how I’m doing. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. from a whole slew of people, not even just a small group. It more than almost anything else overwhelms me with emotions to see how many people love me so very deeply.
  • There are a handful of people who have listened to me verbally struggle and be angry throughout this process and they have done nothing but show grace, love, compassion, and understanding; it has made the most significant impact on my heart. I can only imagine the level of frustration they must feel over how long I have been struggling.
  • Throughout scripture you see people asking God over and over “Why?” and “How long?” – I just recently discovered this little bit of truth (thanks to Amazed and Confused by Heather Zempel), and I am so thankful to realize that my feelings are not new or abnormal, but I share those feelings with so many others.
  • Recently, I have realized that the vast majority of my stress comes from tomorrow, not often today. In that realization comes the fact that we are told not to stress about tomorrow. – Having exactly what I need today is enough, stressing about tomorrow is fruitless, but it takes a serious level of active work to let go of tomorrow’s worry.
  • I have realized also how much comparison good or bad is detrimental to our hearts. Comparing someone else’s worse or horrible situation does not make me feel better or guilty about my own situation. The problem comes in that as soon as I compare bad or worse, I also compare those who have it great and better. – Both are pretty unhealthy. Obviously something can be said for gaining perspective, and sometimes looking at someone else’s situation can offer that, but more often than not it is unhealthy.
  • I have watched Dick Foth’s message Enough from NCC in DC twice now, and I keep reminding myself that God’s Grace is sufficient. Meaning that it is just right, at just the right time for me and my situation. It is not too much, it is never too little, but it covers me perfectly.
  • A few months ago I switched from thinking that God was waiting and preparing things so that there will be “something better” later, to believing that he was preventing me from moving on. – I still believe this, but a friend recently said it in a way that put my heart at rest. – God is grooming me with all of this, and God grooms people for a specific reason. It was a small statement, and may have been told to me before, but the right words at the right time that changed my perspective. This means, that it is all on purpose, yet not in a malicious or forgotten sense, but in a healthy and cultivating way. I do not know if “better” in the classic sense is what is coming, but on purpose and healthy IS better when coming from God.
  • I think I often try to deny the fact that I am such an extreme touch person that during periods when I do not receive any form of touch (for days or weeks), that it causes a pretty severe negative impact on my mental state. – I think I like to pretend that I am or should be strong enough for it not to matter whether I am touched… Until I am once again regularly hugged or touched in general, and it feels as though my dry and dying soul is a desert that is suddenly watered and refreshed.

Every day I struggle through more feelings and thoughts, and try to aim towards getting healthy again. I desire more than anything to feel peace once more, and while I am not there yet, I can look back and realize that I am much closer to it than I was months ago. I can see the pieces of the puzzle fitting together, although I have no clue what the picture is supposed to be at this point.

While I struggle daily with a variety of issues and stressors, the biggest and maybe most profound thing that my heart has settled back into is that God has not forgotten me, I am loved, cherished, and this is not for naught.

Reason to Sing…

I stumbled upon Reason to Sing by All Sons & Daughters over the weekend. It has been out for a while (several years actually), but somehow I missed this song in my regular search for new music of every genre. I love this song. My favorite thing is the progression of feeling, which adequately uses music to communicate how I have been feeling.

When the pieces seem to shatter
To gather off the floor
And all that seems to matter
Is that I don’t feel you anymore
No I don’t feel you anymore
I need a reason to sing
I need a reason to sing
I need to know that You’re still holding
The whole world in Your hands
I need a reason to sing

For months I have struggled with feeling like things have shattered, and that I have been left alone to clean up the mess. I have felt abandoned, alone, and tried my hardest to feel God again… And cried repeatedly when I didn’t. I have wanted desperately to feel connected, joyful, and like I had worship within me. I so badly have wanted to feel in my heart once again that God still has everything together, and that He will work it all out for my good and to bring Him glory in the end. I did not care as much about the whole world, but needed to know that I was seen and my world was loved and cared for.

When I’m overcome by fear
And I hate everything I know
If this waiting lasts forever
I’m afraid I might let go
I’m afraid I might let go”

Fear has been a huge part of this journey, especially as it seems to be dragging on with no ending in sight. I have denied fear and hurt often, but the reality is “what if..” has plagued me for nine months now… And for a year prior to that for different reasons than I face currently.

Will there be a victory
Will You sing it over me now
Your peace is the melody
Will you sing it over me now”

My mind and heart have battled for months between my head knowing God will come through and my heart being fickle and unsure. I have prayed daily for victory, reassurance, peace, and confidence in my heart once again.

Then slowly, almost without noticing, it has transitioned into:

I will sing, sing, sing 
To my God, my King 
For all else fades away
And I will love, love, love
With this heart you’ve made for me
For you’ve been good always
For you’ve been good always.”

Now I find myself sitting in a blending of the two sides of this beautiful song. I have not yet stepped out of seeking for God to sing His victory and peace over me.. But, I have found my heart slowly.. ever so slowly settling into confidence that God has been good always, and He has made my heart to sing to Him while all else fades away.

What a painful journey the last couple years have been. I always expected to get over it when I had a job and felt like I could move on… In a lot of ways that will be true, but I have slowly (seriously slower than a snail slow) have begun to see how God is working on me. Totally not in my timing, definitely not in the ways I wish or would have chosen, but I can see the change, and that alone helps. Just knowing this was not all pointless, that I have grown, my heart has changed, and coming back around to seeing the goodness of God is profoundly helpful.