joy soaked words

finding my way

Month: February, 2020

even if

The words “Even If” have been my mantra over these past few months. I whispered them into the air of my silent bedroom in the moments after the countdown of the clock sent us all spirling into a new year. There was a lot of moments in 2019 that broke me, until I felt like I had nothing left to give. There were also moments where the Lord began to reveal some of his promises to me – promises from years ago that were now in fruitation. By the end of 2019, I was ready to wave goodbye to a year that took everything yet gave so much to me.

I don’t usually spend the time thinking about a word that I will carry with me throughout the year – because like the resolutions we all vow to keep, I’ve forgotten what that word is by the time we hit March. Except for this year. It has been a constant reminder, it’s been popping up everywhere. People will remind me. That even if, he is still good.

Let me break this sentence down for you, because there’s a lot of truth in just a few words.

Even if – These words follow an idea things are okay regardless of what happens. Even if you don’t get that job you want so badly. Even if your boyfriend breaks up with you – when you thought you would get married. Even if your grades are not as high as you would like.

He is still – A reminder that we follow a Father that loves us regardless of our accomplishments. There’s no “I have to all of this to get into heaven” rather he takes our hands and reminds us that his grace is enough.

Good – I’ve been sitting with this word for a while now. Good, the same word that God used when he described the work of His hand over creation. The same word that is used to describe him, stands as reminder of His faithfulness even if.

I don’t know where you have found yourself today reader. I don’t know what kind of mud you are walking through, but I’m here to remind you that even if, he is still good.

njl

the land of what if's

I struggle with overthinking. I was waiting back to hear back from a job that I had applied for next year, a job that if I didn’t get it, it would change my entire fourth year experience. I wrote this blog post in that waiting period, but I never pressed publish. I’m not sure why, but I’m pressing publish now.

I’ve camped out in the land of what if’s.

I pitched a tent here, and some part of me thought it would be a good place to stay for a while. Explore my options while I’m here, to think about next steps.

I got caught up in it and stayed much longer then I intended to be, and the Lord reminded me that I was still camped out here, and asked if I had any plans to leave. To pack away all of these questionings and fears back into my backpack that were spread all over my campsite, and leave that backpack at his feet. The fears and worries that have me spiraling right now are out of my control, and I know that I am wasting my time and energy worrying about them.

It’s time to pack up my tent and put it back in it’s bag. Move out of the land of what if’s – because this land drains your energy until you have nothing left. It’s hard to leave, but when you do, you won’t look back.

I am aware that this whole idea of trusting God with something, taking off the backpack and putting it at his feet is hard. Sometimes it even feels impossible, and it’s the last thing you want to do. When it’s still in your hands, at least you feel as if you have a little bit of control over what happens, even if you don’t.

I also know God is gentle. He doesn’t get frustrated with you when you decide that you don’t want to leave the tent. Step out into the unknown. He doesn’t pry, rather he holds out his hands for you to put that heavy backpack in them. He waits for you, even when he knows that His calling for your life is better than the one you have planned out.

I don’t know what this next season of my life holds yet, but I know that it is time for me to step out of the tent and pack it away. Take off this backpack that I keep adding to, and putting it in His hands. It’s gotten so heavy, I know that there is apart of me that is afraid of what it might feel like to take it off. The nervousness of finally feeling freedom, after you’ve been entrapped for so long.

I’m happy to announce to the blogging world that I have been given the job – which means a spot on campus for me. I learned a lot about myself in that waiting period, but also more about who God is.

The land of what if’s is not a nice place to be, it’s not worth the energy of pitching a tent as I have learned. Next time, I hope to just pass through, maybe stop and talk to the other people who have camped out in that land and show them that the Land of What If’s is a soul and energy sucking place that in the end, gets you nowhere.

njl

Oh God, be my strength

I’m tired.

Not the kind of “I didn’t get enough sleep last night” kind of tired, but the kind of tired that you throw up your arms and say “Oh God, be my strength.”

The kind of tired that begins to creep into conversations and I realize that I haven’t been listening to half of what the other person sitting across me in a coffee shop has been saying.

That prayer, “Oh God, be my strength” felt like a form of defeat for me last week. I had taken on too much, and was stretched too thin – but in reality that’s what it means to be a Jesus follower. To allow him to be our strength, it’s a prayer that should cross our lips on the daily. It’s not a form of defeat, but rather a reality that we can’t do it all on our own.

These skin and bones that cover my soul are worn out. I’ve been ‘going’ without asking Jesus about what’s next. I’ve been ‘going’ and not taking the time to ‘be’.

I am the type of person that in a moment of crisis or stress, I stick with it. I used to run from problems or stressful moments, but after working as the Head Cook at Summer Camp, I learned it’s a lot better to deal with things in the moment. I get through whatever stressful moment / crisis that has happened, and then I let myself fall. I allow myself to feel the emotions that I hadn’t let myself feel earlier, and the overwhelmingness starts to creep in.

I’ve gotten good at storing these things away in the boxes that sit on shelves in my mind. I store it away to deal with later, but the later always seems to come at a time that I shouldn’t be dealing with my emotions – but I am.

The box labeled “I’m tired, and overworked” has begun to be reopened. It ripped it’s tape off the week before reading break, and I hardly had enough energy to finish that week, let alone feel like I finished it well. There was one thing after another that needed my attention, and I was moving through the week with energy that I felt I was rationing out. Reading break has been really good for me, and has given me the space to rest.

The box is still open – I knew a week wouldn’t be enough to deal with everything inside. Burnout is one of the main ones that keeps threatening to come out.

This box shows up, and I throw up my hands “Oh God, be my strength.”

I know that life doesn’t just stop so that I can catch up. It’s about learning how to catch up while life is still going on. I’m learning. I think I am forever learning.

It’s fair to say I’m tired. But with those words being uttered, also come the ones “Oh God, be my strength.”

Powerful words to pray, but He doesn’t take them lightly.

njl

'untitled'

I’ve been writing. A lot. Trying to tackle the discipline of writing head on. I haven’t clicked publish on this blog in a while though, I have a lot of half written blog posts waiting to be finished. There’s a lot I want to say, but when I sit down to write it out with a cup of coffee beside me and my writing playlist in my ears, is when it falters. I hesitate and I don’t press publish.

It feels like a word on the tip of my tongue, or in the case of writing, a lot of words. Unable to know exactly what I want to write about, or if I have an idea, how to get it out of these fingertips.

I know I need to write.

I know that I need to press publish.

Perhaps this is me telling my readers (whoever you are) that I need to be kept accountable in this.

I’m going to press publish.

njl.