Wednesday, June 20, 2012

God Must Think A LOT of YOU!!

Ever had those moments in life, where you wonder just how much more you can handle? Or you look at someone else's life and think, "Wow! How are they still smiling?"

Recently I told my sister...."God must think a lot of you because He keeps allowing crazy hard things in your life." It's amazing to me the stuff Tina has had to endure. A year and a half ago, she didn't just bury our mom....she discovered the body. Four months ago, she had to send her teenage son to a boarding school in Missouri. He was so lost in his own grief over losing grandma, he began self destructing. Tina had to save him from himself. Three weeks ago, her precious husband lost both of his parents within 24 hours of each other. Again, Tina did what she had to do and stood by her husband's side as they said "goodbye".

My sister has always been a rock. I am the ooey-gooey one and she is the calm, level headed one. She's the one I would go to if someone was messing with me in school. Let's face it, she was the scary one (kick your butt kinda girl) and I was the welcome mat. I would let people walk all over me.... and sometimes invite them to! LOL!!

I have seen things in my sister lately that are jaw dropping! How does ONE person handle all these tragic things, find the blessing in them and walk forward with some type of smile? How do you not have your son with you everyday and yet know that it is OK? How do you go through these things without your mom, mother-in-law or father-in-law for guidance? Sometimes I think she should be in a corner, sucking her thumb and rocking back and forth. She doesn't live in a fairy tale nor does she have a naive notion that life is just great no matter what. It's so much more. There is something STRONG and AMAZING inside of her! Something that keeps her feet moving forward and not dwelling in the past! I see her as a ROCK....strong, secure, grounded.

She is a ROCK because her LORD is HER ROCK!

His Spirit dwells within her and because of that, she can withstand all things. Tina trusts Him. She relies on Him.

Psalm 18:2......

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Tomorrow, Tina gets to see her son! For the first time in 4 months she gets to hold him and squish his guts out!! She hates flying.....quite frankly she gets very anxious on planes and has to read scripture over and over to get through the flight. She could definitely stay home out of fear....but she continues to TRUST her ROCK, her God and believe that He will protect her. She is getting on that plane tomorrow to see her son....and there is NOTHING that's going to stop her. Not fear, not anxiety, not hardships.

Thank you sis for being an example to me of what it means to NEVER GIVE UP!!! To know that God never gives us more than we can handle. I know that God thinks a lot of you, Teen, but simply because He delights in you.


Me and my sis!!
I love him!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of JOY.

Psalm 126:5


Over and over I have told the teens in, Girls Nite In, that...."life is messy". It just is. We live in a world that is not perfect and everyone knows it. It's not God's original design. It is a fallen world with imperfect people. At every GNI meeting, I tell the girls that we (the leaders) are here to help them navigate through this messy life. I wish I had someone to mentor me and help me through my teen years. But I didn' I crashed and burned around every corner. The Lord has created me with an undying passion for these girls!!! I want them to know walk with HIM....and to let HIM love them with an everlasting love.


This past weekend, we finished our last meeting for Girls Nite In (for this school year). Our topic was "Loss & Grief" that I know too well and could probably write a book about. I had so many things I wanted to share with the girls and just a ton of thoughts marinating in my mind. It was hard to narrow it down to just 30 minutes of a my heart poured out for them. We had a few girls who had lost their mom or dad in the last year or two. We had other girls who's parents had left them through divorce.....and still others that were suffering through so many changes in life, it just all felt like LOSS.


I was confident that the Lord had planted Truth in me to give out to them. It was a night that I will never forget. Tears, broken hearts, sweet faces looking up at mine. I will always remember how the Lord took my pain and His love....and gave them tangible, mind blowing HOPE. A hope that is like no other. It will never end. He gave them this Truth in

Isaiah 40:31...

"but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. "


In this life there will be suffering. We cannot avoid it. In the past 2 weeks, I have attended a double funeral, read a journal of a teen whose mom died of cancer, shared the heart of another teen whose dad died one year ago and comforted a friend whose dad died yesterday. Our grief comes in so many forms...not just the death of a loved one. But for me, this is the very thing that moved me deeper in my walk with God. Losing my Mom made me question my JOY, my HOPE and my LIFE. God answered my questions and spoke mightily into my life. He brought me Girls Nite In. He doesn't waste our pain. He uses it for His glory and to bring us closer to Him. I praise God all the time for the pain...for the grief...for the loss. Not because I have suffered....but through my tears He has brought me great JOY!


Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of JOY.


It is the hardest thing I have ever done.....To trust God in the midst of suffering; To believe Him at His word; To let Him move each foot forward when they are weighted down in darkness. BUT...when I did these things, He turned my tears to joy.